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An update on XL Bully dogs

18 December 2023

Your health and safety |

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Supporting you, your community, and your pet

We know many of you will have concerns about the ban on XL Bully dogs that came into force at the end of 2023.  

We want to reassure all tenants that we are here to support you through the changes to the law.  

We know that for many pet owners, your pet is a member of your family, and we want to help you stay together in your home, while keeping you and others around you safe.  

In this update we explain how we are updating our procedures to better support you, while also outlining the clear timeline of actions you’ll need to take in preparation for the new rules on XL Bully ownership. 

 What is changing?  

On 31 October 2023, the government announced that they would be adding the XL Bully dog breed to the list of dogs banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.  

From 31 December 2023 breeding, selling, advertising, rehoming, abandoning, and allowing an XL Bully dog to stray will be illegal. From this date, these dogs must be kept on a lead and muzzled in public.  

From 1 February 2024, it will then become illegal to own an XL Bully dog unless you have a Certificate of Exemption. 

 How will this affect me?  

If you own an XL Bully dog, we understand that this may be a worrying time for you.  

Even if you don’t own an XL Bully, but your neighbours own this breed of dog, we know this may also raise concerns for yourself. 

We want to reassure everyone that we are updating our Pets in Accommodation Procedure to reflect the new changes that will come into place.  

To keep everyone safe, tenants are not permitted to keep any banned breed of dog in their Trivallis property. This is an existing rule in your occupation contract. 

However, on the occasion that a breed of dog is added to the list, in this case the XL Bully dog, in most cases owners will be able to keep their dog, but only if they follow the rules in place and apply for a Certificate of Exemption.  

If you don’t follow the rules or don’t get a Certificate of Exemption: 

  • As a responsible dog owner, its important you take action to get a Certificate of Exemption. If you don’t, we may consider taking legal action against you. 
  • Similarly, if you breach the rules that are set out as part of your Certificate of Exemption, we may consider taking action under break of Occupation Contract. 
  • We also reserve the right to withhold or revoke permission to keep such animals in our property and will consider this on a case-by-case situation.  

I have an XL Bully dog. What can I do? 

To be able to keep your XL Bully dog once the ban is in place, you must apply for a Certificate of Exemption by 31 January 2024.  

You must have your XL Bully dog: 

  • Microchipped 
  • Kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public. 
  • Neutered (or if your dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, they must be neutered by 31 December 2024). This will need to be confirmed by a vet. 
  • Kept in a secure place so they cannot escape. 

Owners must: 

  • Be over 16 years old. 
  • Have third party liability insurance against the dog injuring other people. 
  • Be able to show the Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or council dog warden, either at the time or within 5 days of being asked. 

Applications to apply for your Certificate of Exemption on the government website, have now closed.

If you apply for a Certificate of Exemption and are successful, please provide Trivallis with a copy. 

Where can I get support?  

The government has provided information on how you can prepare for the ban, here: Prepare for the ban on XL Bully dogs – GOV.UK ( 

If you have any questions, or need support with meeting the requirements ahead of 01 February 2024, please speak with your Neighbourhood Manager, or contact our Customer Services Team, here:  

We want to help you and your community stay safe without the risk of losing your pet.