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Posted: 2nd April 2024

Scotland opens XL bully exemption applications
To be eligible, XL bullies must be neutered, microchipped, and covered my third party insurance.
Owners must apply before 31 July 2024.

The Scottish government has opened the application process to apply for exemption from its upcoming ban on XL bully type dogs.

The application scheme, which launched on 1 April, will enable owners of the breed to apply for exemption online until 31 July 2024. Postal applications should be made before 15 July 2024.

In order to be eligible for exemption, owners of XL bullies must ensure that their pet is neutered, microchipped and covered by third party insurance. There is also a £92.40 fee.

If a dog is less than eight weeks old, and therefore too young to be microchipped when the owner applies for exemption, the owner will have until 31 October 2024 to submit a microchip number.

The government has published the full details of the application process and owners’ requirements on its website.

Alternatively, should the owner choose not to keep their dog, the government is offering them compensation. Owners can apply for £100 towards veterinary fees for euthanasia and £100 to compensate for losing the pet.

Current legislation, launched on 23 February 2024, means that XL bullies must be muzzled and kept on a lead when in public. It is also illegal to breed, rehome or abandon an XL bully type dog

Following the application process, the full ban for non-exempt XL bully type dogs in Scotland will be enforced from 1 August 2024.

The Scottish government has published a physical conformation standard, which details its official definition of an XL bully. The guide, which is the same as that of England and Wales, was created in consultation with a dangerous dogs working group, local authorities and veterinary surgeons.

The ban mirrors actions taken in England and Wales, where it has been illegal to own an XL bully without an exemption certificate since 1 February 2024.

Siobhian Brown, Scotland’s victims and community safety minister, said: “These new safeguards are being introduced to protect the public while giving XL bully owners time to comply with the new rules. I would encourage XL bully owners who wish to keep their dogs from 1 August to apply for an exemption certificate in good time.

“The Scottish government continues to work with Police Scotland, local authorities, the SSPCA and others to ensure our communities are kept safe.”

Image © Shutterstock

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