Dog owners in County Durham and Darlington will be issued advice over the ban on XL Bully dogs next year. 

Community safety staff at Darlington Borough Council have teamed up with Durham Constabulary and other local partners in a bid to raise awareness of the new ban on XL Bully breed type dogs.

The Government announced in October that XL Bully breeds would be added to the list of those banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

The Northern Echo: The event will tackle information about XL Bully bansThe event will tackle information about XL Bully bans (Image: Stock)

From December 31, it will be illegal to breed, sell, exchange, advertise, rehome, gift, abandon or allow an XL Bully dog to stray. These dogs must also be muzzled and on a lead when in public.

It will also be a criminal offence to own a XL Bully in England and Wales from 1 February 2024, unless the owner has a certificate of exemption.

The council’s community safety team, which includes the dog warden, licensing and civic enforcement officers are working with local police and other partners to help raise awareness of the new legislation and draw up an action plan on its implementation.

A special information event will be held at the South Park education room, next to the clock tower, on Friday, December 8, 1pm-3pm.

Civic enforcement, licensing and housing staff will be on hand along with police and representatives from Dogs Trust and the RSPCA to talk to XL Bully owners – with or without their dogs - and anyone else wanting to find out more.

They will be able to offer advice or training tips and direct people to the relevant guidance from the government.

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Cllr Amanda Riley, the council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “We know the government’s ban on XL Bully type dogs may be unsettling for some. We’ve teamed up with police and other partners to organise this event to raise awareness of the issues and direct people to where they can find further information and guidance from the government.

“Do come along to see the team if you can. If not, we would encourage people not to panic and to be prepared by reading and following the guidance that is available, and to keep checking for updates from the government and through the media.”

A certificate of exemption is a government registration scheme that will allow you to keep your XL Bully dog subject to certain conditions, more details about this, the new legislation and links to the government’s guidance can be found on our website here.