As an animal welfare organisation we are at the sharp end of the problems that arise from irresponsible dog ownership. As we come towards the end of 2023 we are seeing a terrible example of where this can lead. The actions of a minority of irresponsible owners of large breed dogs has resulted in serious harm to innocent people. In response to this, on 31st October the government added the XL Bully to the banned breeds list within section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The Ban takes effect on 31st December 2023. Here is the full legal Information from DEFRA

The RSPCA is opposed to this ban, which we don’t believe is effective in protecting the public. We do not agree with the broad legal definition of an XL Bully announced by the UK Government but we will of course fully comply with the law and we are committed to supporting dog owners as more information about the implications emerges. You can find out more details here RSPCA – XL Bullies

The immediate challenge is for owners of dogs which meet or might meet the legal definition of an XL Bully to decide if they will proceed to get their dog exempted before the end of this year so that they can keep it. The Government definition of the XL Bully Type is quite broad and it is not clear how many thousands of dogs will be affected. In order to get an exemption all dogs must be neutered and so we are offering financial assistance to owners who are in receipt of benefits and living in our area (all DA postcodes plus BR8 postcodes). To access this help call 01322  286720 and chose option 3 or email

There will be an increase in abandonments and euthanasia of these types of dogs. This will place a huge strain upon our colleagues working in rescue centres, in the local veterinary practices and also the local authority. We are looking to work with and support them in any way we can.