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View the complete list of dog breeds prohibited in the United Kingdom

American XL bully dogs will be banned by the end of the year following a series of attacks, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said.

The Prime Minister made the promise after it emerged a man had died after being attacked by two dogs – suspected to be bully XLs – in Birmingham and following a video of another attack that went viral when an 11-year-old girl suffered serious injuries.

A 10-year-old boy was also attacked and killed by a bully XL two years ago in Caerphilly, South Wales.

While American bully XLs do not feature on the list yet there are four banned dog breeds in the UK including a Japanese Tosa.

If you are found guilty of owning a banned dog you can receive an "unlimited" fine and/or spend time in jail. 

Wisbech Standard: Home Secretary Suella Braverman is pushing to have American bully XLs added to the list of dogs banned in the UK.Home Secretary Suella Braverman is pushing to have American bully XLs added to the list of dogs banned in the UK. (Image: Getty)

Banned dogs in the UK

In the UK, it is illegal to own certain types of dogs.

The following dogs are banned in the UK, according to the Gov.uk website:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro

It’s also against the law to:

  • Sell a banned dog
  • Abandon a banned dog
  • Give away a banned dog
  • Breed from a banned dog

The Gov.uk website added: "Whether your dog is a banned type depends on what it looks like, rather than its breed or name.

"For example, if your dog matches many of the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier, it may be a banned type."

Wisbech Standard: Fila Brasileiro dogs are among those banned in the UK.Fila Brasileiro dogs are among those banned in the UK. (Image: Getty Images)

What to do if you have a banned dog

If you have a banned dog, the police or local council dog warden can take it away and keep it, says the Gov.uk website.

If it is on the banned list, they can take your dog away even if:

  • It is not acting dangerously
  • There has not been a complaint

In certain instances, the police may need permission from a court to remove your dog.

The Gov.uk website says: "A police or council dog expert will judge what type of dog you have and whether it is (or could be) a danger to the public."

Your dog will then either be:

  • Released
  • Kept in kennels while the police (or council) apply to a court

You’re not allowed to visit your dog while you wait for the court decision.

If you can prove your dog is not a banned type the court will order the dog to be returned to you.

If your dog is banned but the court thinks it’s not a danger to the public, it may put it on the Index of Exempt Dogs and let you keep it.

You’ll be given a Certificate of Exemption. This is valid for the life of the dog.

Penalty if you are found to have a banned dog

However, if you can't prove your dog is not banned (or you plead guilty), you’ll be convicted of a crime.

If you are found guilty of owning a banned dog, you could receive the following punishments:

  • You can get an unlimited fine
  • Be sent to prison for up to 6 months
  • Or both

On top of that, your dog will also be destroyed.


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