Demand for exemption information grows as XL Bully ban looms

XL Bully

Blue Cross pet charity is calling on Defra to release information and access to the ‘exemption portal’ following its announcement of plans to ban XL bully type dogs by the end of the year.

Owners have been given just 12 weeks to register their dogs and secure an exemption certificate, but the Government has failed to explain and provide clarity on how owners can take action to exempt their pet within the very limited time frame and a deadline of 1 February 2024.

Becky Thwaites, Head of Public Affairs at Blue Cross, said, “To announce the ban as coming into force without advice for those owners of well behaved and much-loved pets in how they take action as soon as possible to register their dogs as exempt, is incredibly alarming and unfair. The Government has put a huge amount of anxiety and stress on owners of the types of dogs that could be caught up in the ban under the very wide breed type definition provided.”

Find your local MP and download the template letter here

The Government has advised owners to ensure their dog is microchipped (already a legal requirement for all dogs), neutered as soon as possible, kept on a lead and muzzled when out in public. The advice is then to apply for a certificate of exemption, however details of how to register are still not in place and there is currently no time frame on when the online registration portal will be available. The cost to register will be £92.40 per dog.

Becky continued, “It has already been over a week since the Government released their definition of the type of dogs that may come under the ban but owners still lack the important details of how they can get their dogs exempted. For thousands of worried owners the clock is ticking, as from 1 February 2024 it will be illegal to own an XL bully type unless it is on the Index of Exempted Dogs.”

Blue Cross is urging animal lovers to write to their MP and express their concerns around the impact this ban is going to have on responsible pet owners, animal welfare charities and the veterinary sector and ask the Government to give this legislation the scrutiny and overhaul it deserves.

Find your local MP and download the template letter here.

This is a guest post by Blue Cross. Want to write for us? Visit or email


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