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XL Bully Dog Exemption Application Process Opens

2nd April 2024

Owners urged to apply before 31 July deadline.

XL Bully owners can now apply for an exemption certificate so they can continue to legally own their dogs in the long term.

The application scheme runs from today (1 April) to 31 July 2024, after which it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully without an exemption certificate.

To get an exemption certificate, owners must apply online or by post, pay a £92.40 fee, obtain third party insurance and neuter and microchip their dogs. Postal applications must be made by 15 July and online applications by midnight on 31 July. Full details of the process and requirements are available on the Scottish Government website.

In line with the initial safeguards introduced on 23 February, XL Bully dogs must continue to be muzzled and kept on a lead in public.

Owners who decide not to keep their dogs can apply for £100 to cover cost of euthanasia/veterinary fees and £100 to compensate for the loss of the animal.

Victims and Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown 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."

Exemption scheme details

The penalties available to a court upon conviction for breach of the new safeguards are up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine up to £5,000.