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Lincolnshire Police urge XL Bully owners to act before February ban

Lincolnshire Police are sharing government advice for dog owners ahead of upcoming law changes which will ban XL Bully type dogs.

Since December 31, it is now against the law in England and Wales to sell, abandon, give away and breed from an XL Bully dog,

It is also illegal to have an XL Bully dog in public without a lead and muzzle, while dogs must also be muzzled if they are travelling in a vehicle.

It will be an offence from February 1 to own an XL Bully without a certificate of exemption
It will be an offence from February 1 to own an XL Bully without a certificate of exemption

The second phase of the law change comes in on February 1 when it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully type dog in England and Wales unless the dog has a Certificate of Exemption.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published official guidance and Lincolnshire Police are urging dog owners to visit www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-for-the-ban-on-xl-bully-dogs and act within the time frame.

Those who own an XL Bully or a dog with XL Bully characteristics can apply for a Certificate of Exemption online, by email or post.

Before applying, owners must pay an application fee and have third party public liability insurance for banned dog breeds. This can be provided by the Dogs Trust and the policy, currently £25 a year, must be renewed annually.

Applications for an exemption via post or email must reach DEFRA by Monday, January 15, and if applying online, owners have until 12pm on Wednesday, January 31.

The application form and more information is available at www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-certificate-of-exemption-to-keep-an-xl-bully-dog

Acting chief inspector Carrie Diamond said: “Lincolnshire Police have been working closely with partners ahead of the new laws to promote responsible ownership and will be issuing guidance and reminders to owners that their dogs will need to be registered by January 31, 2024.

“As a force we understand that there are concerns in relation to the new laws and we want responsible owners to be able to keep their dogs.

“We are therefore encouraging owners to read and understand the DEFRA guidance and take the necessary steps to stay within the law to prevent their dog being seized.”

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