XL Bully Ban: Defra reminder of first neutering deadline

12 June 2024

Vets in small animal practice may wish to be aware of Defra’s reminder to XL Bully owners of the first neutering deadline at the end of June which is fast approaching and which may cause an increase in demand for veterinary services.

The XL Bully breed type, which has been added to the list of banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, means that it is now a criminal offence to own or possess an XL Bully dog in England and Wales without a valid Certification of Exemption. An important condition of the exemption is that owners must have their dog permanently neutered by set deadlines.

The first neutering deadline is now approaching. This relates to all XL Bully dogs that were 12 months or older on the 31st January 2024. These dogs must be neutered by the 30th June 2024. If these dogs are not neutered by this date, the certificate of exemption will no longer be valid, the dog could be seized by the police and the owner could be prosecuted.

Defra is actively reaching out to owners through various communication pathways to encourage them to book an appointment with their vet as soon as possible to avoid the risk of not getting an appointment before the deadline. Defra would be grateful if veterinary practices could also reach out to their clients who own XL Bullies with this message. Some owners may leave this to near the of June and so Defra would appreciate if veterinary practices would consider increasing neutering availability to help respond to any increase in demand during this period.

Further Resources

Government guidance to vets on neutering can be found at: http://apha.defra.gov.uk/documents/ov/Neutering-Guidance-for-vets.pdf

All other Government guidance on XL Bully dogs can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ban-on-xl-bully-dogs

BSAVA resources for members can be found in the Veterinary Resources section of the website at:

https://bsava.com/resources/veterinary-resources/ and by following the member link on the topic https://bsava.com/xlbullyban-defraupdates/.

Previous BSAVA information on the XL Bully Ban is available at: https://bsava.com/article/defra-urges-owners-to-take-action-ahead-of-xl-bully-ban/.