Yesterday, October 31st 2023, the government laid the statutory instrument 1164/2023 and as predicted this was done by using the negative resolution procedure in order to add the XL Bully to the banned breed types contained within section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The statutory instrument laid today simply confirms the mechanism to be used in which to do this and the time frame in which it is to be done. This is accompanied by vague guidance as to what the government believes is an XL Bully, and equally vague information in the steps owners of any dog that might satisfy the vague description should take and links are posted to these on the Deed Not Breed Facebook page and below, however further Statutory instruments are yet to be laid detailing the terms of exemption, therefore again denying owners the detail they need in order to comply and with a very short timescale in which to do it.

As we have said in previous posts the current exemption rules are themselves a Statutory Instrument and therefore can be changed so our advice is not to use the current rules as a definitive guide because they are to be replaced and may differ from what is eventually laid before Parliament by the government. As always as soon as the new Statutory Instrument becomes available we will of course update you further and advise regarding its contents. We remain anxious not to add to the huge amount of misinformation which has been circulating online since the ban was announced back in September but along with our friends and associates, we will continue to monitor information coming directly from government and report this back to you.

The purpose of the Statutory instrument laid yesterday is simply to add the type of dog known as the XL Bully to the list of types of dog which are prohibited in Section 1 of the current Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The instrument, as predicted, is subject to the negative resolution procedure as it does not amend the primary legislation, (Dangerous Dogs Act) which therefore remains the same as it is currently but with the addition of XL Bully to the list of banned breed types and new dates for the implementation and transition under powers already contained within the original act. Negative procedure is a type of parliamentary procedure that applies to statutory instruments (SIs). Its name describes the form of scrutiny that the SI receives from Parliament.
An SI laid under the negative procedure becomes law on the day the Minister signs it and automatically remains law unless a motion – or ‘prayer’ – to reject it is passed by either House within 40 sitting days. If that happens the SI is no longer law.

Most statutory instruments presented to Parliament are subject to the negative procedure. This means that Parliament is not required to approve the statutory instrument for it to become law. But either the House of Commons or the House of Lords can pass a motion within a specified period (usually 40 days) to annul the statutory instrument, which stops it having legal effect. However the last time the House of Commons annulled a negative statutory instrument was in 1979.

It goes without saying that we are devastated at the banning of another type using legislation which has already failed to protect the public over the last thirty years, and we are extremely concerned at the speed and seemingly lack of thought given to the consequences this will have on responsible owners. However it now is what it is, and our primary focus must be to be of as much assistance as possible in ensuring as many dogs as possible are able to be exempted and to minimise as far as we are able the impact the ban will have on both them and their owners.

Once it comes into force on 31st December 2023, the offences in section 1(2) of the 1991 Act will, in addition to the current four banned breed types, also apply in relation to dogs of the type known as the XL Bully and will apply only in England and Wales (at the moment). This means that from 31st December 2023 it will be an offence for any person to —
Breed, or breed from any dog with substantial characteristics of the type known as the XL Bully
Sell or exchange or offer, advertise or expose such a dog for sale or exchange;
Make or offer to make a gift of such a dog or advertise or expose such a dog as a gift;
Allow such a dog of which he/she is the owner or of which he/she is for the time being in charge to be in a public place without being muzzled and kept on a lead;
Abandon such a dog of which he is the owner or, being the owner or for the time being in charge of such a dog, allow it to stray.
The offence contained within section 1(3) of the 1991 Act will apply in relation to dogs of the type known as the XL Bully from 1st February and from this date it will, in addition to the above, therefore also be an offence for any person to have any dog of the type known as the XL Bully in their possession or custody unless the conditions of exemption are met and the dog has been exempted from the prohibition.
These conditions the government has stated are to include neutering and some dates have been given as deadlines for this procedure to be undertaken These are different to the dates above and we expect that unneutered dogs whose owners comply with the other exemption conditions before February 1st 2024 and obtain exemption will possibly be given a provisional exemption certificate which will only become complete after neutering has taken place.
The deadlines for neutering are staggered. If the dog isn’t yet neutered, it will have to be done by 30th June 2024 or 31st December 2024 (depending on when it was born). The Secretary of State is also to put in place a scheme for the payment to the owners of such dogs who arrange for them to be destroyed before the 31st January 2024 of 200 pounds for individuals and 100 pounds for rescues in compensation towards the cost of their destruction.

Our advice currently based on the information available today remains the same as we posted originally on the pinned post from 17th September and update post dated 22nd September regarding steps owners should be taking now.

Third Party Insurance

As we previously suggested, Dogs Trust have an excellent membership scheme that we would recommend owners of all breeds to be part of in any event, it costs 25 pounds per year to become a member and the owner is covered by 3rd party liability insurance as a member benefit which meets the standard required to register the four breeds currently covered by the legislation and which the government have today confirmed will also meet the standard required for the XL Bully . Currently membership covers ALL dogs owned by that member regardless of breed up to a limit so if you have more than one prohibited type to be registered to you then it is possible that only one membership is required as is the case currently, but this is yet to be confirmed by Dogs Trust.
To owners of a dog already registered as one of the four prohibited types and who are already Dogs Trust members as a condition of exemption, but who also own an XL Bully your membership should already cover you as it would currently if you owned more than one prohibited dog, but again this is yet to be confirmed by Dogs Trust and we will update as soon as this is known for sure.
If you already have Dogs Trust membership, or once you join, then you do not need to have a copy of your policy immediately, you are not taking out insurance you are becoming a member and the insurance is a benefit of that membership. Providing there are no changes to this aspect of the exemption rules from how they are currently then once the government opens registration then contact Dogs Trust with your dog’s microchip number and ask them to confirm to you in writing/email that you are a member and that the dog concerned identified by its microchip number is covered by your liability cover as a member then forward this to Index of Exempt Dogs along with your registration application and proof of microchipping and neutering and anything else determined to be required by the new Exemption Rules Statutory Instrument once details of its contents become available.


With regards to neutering our advice again remains that owners ensure that their dog’s microchip is registered on their dog’s record at the vets undertaking the operation and is checked to confirm the neutered animals identity as you will need to provide PROOF of compliance to DEFRA in order to obtain exemption.
If you got your dog from a rescue and it was neutered by them then you will have to contact the rescue and request proof from the vet who carried out the operation in order to submit it to The Index of Exempt Dogs, please do not delay in obtaining proof as delays in getting the requested information could jeopardise compliance within the tight timeframe.
If you are unable to provide proof of neutering in the above ways, then you may have to provide proof in another way which is acceptable to The Index of Exempt Dogs. In the past this has included having veterinary evidence that the reproductive organs have been removed and this will obviously involve a cost to owners and cause potential delays.


It is being suggested that a rescue may be able to get a Certificate of Exemption (which, if correct, is a new concession). As well as the conditions already stated above in order to comply, the dog will have to be kept in secure conditions so it can’t escape, and the registered keeper must have third party liability insurance (in previous cases of dogs seized whilst in rescue being exempted by the court there had to be a named person on the application). Other conditions are also likely to apply.
As the primary legislation prevents selling, gifting or advertising for sale or as a gift, as things stand currently once a dog is exempted by a rescue to themselves, they would then not legally be able to seek to rehome the dog without breaching the primary legislation.
In the absence currently of any guidance for rescues provided by government we would urge that in the interim period rescues urgently seek permanent homes for current dogs which may fall foul of the law and to be especially careful to ensure this is not only done with great care to ensure the home is the best possible to avoid any reason for a dog to have to be returned in the future, but also to also ensure that it is done before the 31st December 2023 to avoid the rescue being in breach of the law regarding selling gifting and advertising and allow the dogs to be exempted by their new keepers in time for the exemption deadline of 31st January. Any unexempted dogs remaining in rescue after the cut off dates would not be held legally after the dates have passed and could be liable to be seized. We are desperately seeking clarification of procedures regarding rescues and their dogs and will update as soon as it is available

Official definition of an XL Bully dog

Prepare for the ban on XL Bully dogs

Statutory instrument laid today by negative resolution in parliament regarding the XL Bully ban


Blackpool MP speaks out against BSL

RSPCA welcomes inquiry into Breed Specific Legislation

The EFRA inquiry found that current legislation fails to protect the public whilst harming dog welfare

The RSPCA has welcomed the announcement that the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee’s report is calling for a full-scale review of current dog control legislation and policy.

The RSPCA has been calling for a parliamentary inquiry into the effectiveness of Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in protecting public safety and dog welfare since August 2016.

The charity’s high-profile #EndBSL campaign called on the UK Government to review Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) 1991 which, under BSL, prohibits the ownership of four types of dogs: pitbull terrier, fila Brasiliero, dogo Argentino, Japanese tosa. Over 84,000 people supported our campaign and the need for a different approach.

The report released by EFRA today (Wednesday) is calling on the UK Government to remove the ban on rehoming these banned types to new owners as currently it results in the unnecessary euthanasia of good-tempered dogs that could have been safely re-homed. It also asks for an independent review into the factors affecting dog aggression, and a new Dog Control Act to facilitate early intervention in dog incidents, as well as better education for children and dog owners.

Read the full article here

Source: RSPCA news

EFRA Inquiry Report: Dangerous Dogs

Back in May EFRA announced an inquiry entitled Dangerous Dogs ; Breed Specific Legislation and invited written and oral evidence to be submitted for consideration.

Today we welcome the publishing of their report and thank the committee for the amount of consideration they have given to the submissions when making their findings, which we wholeheartedly support. We await the Government’s response and hope very much that they will finally take steps to review our current legislation for the benefit of all.

It seems, as has been known to many of us involved with the Act on a day to day basis the inability of DEFRA to seemingly understand the flaws in the act that they implement and oversee in the capacity as The Index of Exempted Dogs and its lack of effectiveness in protecting the public was not lost on the EFRA committee and the report is fair and thorough in its approach as to the way forward. We sincerely hope the government take on board what is contained within it so that we can all move forward tackling the deed not the breed and ensuring that the laws we have in place truly protect the public and prevent incidents as opposed to the current legislation which focuses on punishment rather than prevention.

As the committee says in the report the government does not have to continue to sit on its hands. “Changing the law on Breed Specific Legislation is desirable, achievable, and would better protect the public.”

In the last 27 years, a large number of people have been injured in incidents involving all breeds of dog, and a large number of dogs have been destroyed who have never injured anyone, purely for the way they look because the law fails to protect either. Whilst we are cautiously optimistic we are also very much aware that there is much more to do and would ask everyone to watch the page for any further updates and/or requests for help moving forward.

We would also like to thank the RSPCA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for the time and enormous effort they have put in to even get to this stage and offer to them whatever assistance we can in the future.

The report in its entirety is available via the link at the bottom of this post


Dangerous Dogs legislation fails to protect the public while harming animal welfare

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s report Controlling dangerous dogs is calling for a full-scale review of current dog control legislation and policy to better protect the public.

The inquiry was launched to investigate Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and wider dog control, amid concerns that the current approach was not protecting the public adequately. The Committee said an alternative dog control model should be developed that focused on prevention though education, early intervention, and consistently robust sanctions for offenders.

Among its recommendations to Government:

Removing the prohibition on transferring banned breeds to new owners. The Committee found the prohibition to be misguided, as it results in the unnecessary destruction of good-tempered dogs that could have been safely re-homed.

An independent review into the factors behind dog aggression and attacks, and whether banned breeds pose an inherently greater threat. The Committee raised serious concerns about the robustness of the Government’s evidence base on BSL, and highlighted evidence showing that some legal breeds can pose just as great a risk to public safety as illegal breeds.

Mandatory dog awareness courses for owners involved in low to mid-level offences. A compulsory training course, similar to speed awareness courses for drivers.

Awareness campaigns to encourage responsible ownership and improve childhood education on staying safe around dogs.

A new Dog Control Act to consolidate the existing patchwork of legislation and provide enforcement authorities with new powers.

Neil Parish, Chair of the Committee, said:

“The Government’s current strategy for tackling dangerous dogs is well intentioned but misguided. Existing laws and the breed ban have not stemmed the rising tide of injuries and deaths from dog attacks. Children and adults are suffering horrific injuries, many of them avoidable. This is unacceptable. The public must be properly protected, and we are therefore calling for a full-scale review of existing dog control strategies.

“We carefully considered the merits of the breed ban under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Our evidence was clear that the law is riddled with inconsistencies, harms animal welfare unnecessarily, and offers false reassurances to policymakers and the general public. All dogs can be dangerous, and we can’t ban all dogs that might one day bite someone. Evidence from across the world shows that the Government should focus instead on encouraging responsible ownership, improving education, and ensuring offenders face robust penalties.

“Some aspects of the law are utterly indefensible. In particular, the ban on transferring Section 1 dogs to new owners is cruel, illogical, and unnecessary. In line with its commitments to improving animal welfare, Defra should repeal the transfer ban for dogs that have been behaviourally assessed and deemed safe. Failure to act will show a calculated disregard for dog welfare.”

The report found that:

• The focus on Breed Specific Legislation is misguided. The Government should undertake a comprehensive review of dog control legislation and policy. This should support the development of an alternative dog control model that focuses on prevention though education, early intervention, and consistently robust sanctions for offenders.

• The Government’s arguments in favour of maintaining Breed Specific Legislation are not substantiated by robust evidence. An independent evidence review must be commissioned to determine whether the banned breeds/types present an inherently greater risk than other legal breeds. If not, this aspect of the law should be revised.

• To avoid imposing an unnecessary death sentence on good-tempered animals, the ban on transferring Section 1 dogs to new owners should be removed immediately, if the animal has been behaviourally assessed and found to be safe. This should be accompanied by adequate regulation and safeguards to ensure the re-homing of Section 1 dogs is conducted responsibly and safely.

• The patchwork of legislation should be consolidated into a single Dog Control Act. Dedicated Dog Control Notices should be introduced to facilitate early intervention in dog incidents.

• Young children are at risk of serious injury. The Government should facilitate childhood education programmes on dog safety and run awareness-raising campaigns encouraging responsible ownership and safe human-dog interaction among owners and the general public.

Any bids or enquiries should be directed to: Joe Williams 07546 571 626.

The Chair of the Committee will be available for pre-recorded and live media appearances.

More information about the inquiry into Dangerous Dogs: Breed Specific Legislation Inquiry

Committee Membership:

Media information: Joe Williams 07546 517 626.

Specific Committee Information: 020 7219 5528 / email:

EFRA Enquiries: Dangerous dogs and BSL

First session, 13th June 2018 – Witnesses: Dr Rachel Casey, Director of Canine Behaviour and Research, Dogs Trust; Robin Hargreaves, former President, BRitish Veterinary Association;  Bill Lambert, Health and Breeder Services Manager, Kennel Club;  David Ryan, former Chair, Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors; Trevor Cooper, Doglaw, Consultant for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home;  Dr Samantha Gaines, Head of Companion Animals Department, RSPCA; Steve Goody, Deputy Chief Executive Blue Cross

Second session, 27th June 2018 – Witnesses: Deputy Chief Constable, Gareth Pritchard, Lead for dangerous dogs, National Police Chiefs Council;  Inspector Patrick O’Hara, Dog Training School & Status Dog Unit, Metropolitan Police;  Mark Berry, Chairman, National Companion Animal Forum

Third session, 4th July 2018 – Witnesses:  Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity;  Mark Casale, Deputy Director Animal Welfare and Exotic Disease Control Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Link to our submission to EFRA

Petitions supported by DNB

There are many petitions online at the moment causing confusion to many as to which ones to sign. The two we are supporting are the RSPCA petition to repeal BSL which can be found here and a petition set up by Draconian Dogs Act asking for open keepership for banned breeds and can be found here
Please add your support


Well done to everyone involved in Sky’s case and in getting some much needed clarification on the wording of the Act

Dog bites: What’s breed got to do with it

A survey commissioned by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Dogs and mobile ‘phones

We all know that we can get into trouble for using a mobile phone when driving, but how many people consider the effect even the presence of a mobile phone can have on other areas of our lives and just what the implications of that could be? Scientific studies have shown that mobile phones affect how our brain functions and its ability to process and react to what is going on around us.

Buster almost lost his life today because the person walking him lost control when they became distracted by their phone. Please don’t use your phone whilst walking your dog. We are increasingly seeing phones being the reason for a lapse in concentration and it really could cost your dog his life. Thankfully for Buster, the court today felt that with conditions in place, Buster could go home with a contingent destruction order in place. He was lucky. It really isn’t worth the risk not only to your dog but to other dog owners and members of the public .…/2017/…/170104103539.htm

Dog ‘type’ not the same as ‘breed

With the anniversary of the Dangerous Dogs Act upon us again still one of the most often asked questions of the breed specific part of the act to a bystander or a novice is regarding the concept of ‘type’ being different than breed.

This means that many individual dogs either of breeding unrecognised in the UK, those which more closely match the ADBA working standard than their own show breed standard, or crossbreeds in the UK regardless as to their parentage can fall within the definition of a banned breed type.

This does not mean every dog of that breeding will be type and, indeed, often some puppies from the same litter and mating will be type whilst others are not. However the high court ruling made 24 years ago in Regina v Knightsbridge Crown Court, ex parte Dunne. Brock v Director of Public Prosecutions has certainly affected many more people and pet dogs than most people expected would be the case at the time.

Linked below is the original report from that case for anyone interested in how the Dangerous Dogs Act has evolved over the years from what was originally written in 1991 due to cases which have been determined in the high courts.

High court cases set precedents and tweak laws which is why care has to be taken before asking questions of the high court, to be sure to look at the bigger picture as the answers given may not be the ones expected or wanted and may well impact on other dogs adversely in the future.