XL bully dogs: new legislation to note

The law on XL bully dogs is changing. As of 31 December 2023 it will be illegal to:

  • Sell or give away an XL bully dog
  • Abandon an XL bully dog or let it stray
  • Breed from an XL bully dog
  • Take an XL bully out in public without a lead and muzzle.

Test Valley residents who own an XL bully dog need to apply for a Certificate of Exemption from the Government by 31 January 2024 in order to keep their dog.

If you do not hold a Certificate of Exemption for your XL bully, from 1 February 2024 onwards, you will be committing a criminal offence and breaching any tenancy agreement you might have in place with a landlord.

Please note that XL bully puppies can no longer be bred, as by the time they were eligible for sale or homing, they would be considered illegal.

You can find more information on the national government website about the ban, how to identify an XL bully and how to apply for the certificate.

Please also note that Test Valley Borough Council officers will not respond to calls to identify an XL bully. Such enquiries should go to Hampshire Police by calling 101 or via their website.