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The latest news relating to Animal Welfare Licensing

XL Bullies - March 2024

LAIA licensed kennelling, home boarding or day care of XL Bullies  

It will still be possible for businesses to provide these services for exempted XL Bully type dogs if they wish to do so. 

It is a requirement of the Certificate of Exemption to keep a prohibited breed type at the same address as the person to whom the certificate is issued except for up to a maximum of 30 days in a 12-month period.  During these 30 days, the dog may kept in suitable care which could include licensed kennels, home boarding or day care. 

Licence holders must ensure that they can continue to meet and maintain all their licence conditions should they agree to board an exempted XL Bully. They may also wish to ask the owner of the dog to see their Certificate of Exemption before agreeing to provide their services. 

The owner should ensure that the licence holder, or their designated manager, is aware the dog is a prohibited breed type, show them the Certificate of Exemption, and provide all relevant information to ensure the business can comply with the legislation. This includes that from 31 December 2023 the dog must be kept on a lead and muzzled when in public.  

In general, the licensed premises are unlikely to be considered as a public place for the purposes of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (that is a place which members of the public have access to without the invitation of the person occupying the property). However, depending on the individual set up, some part of the premises used by the licensee may be accessible to the public without the licensee's permission. We would advise that licence holders that are unsure whether their premises or a part of their premises constitute a public place should consult their own legal team for views. If a licence holder or their legal team do consider the premises to be a public place, then an XL Bully would be required by law to be kept on a lead and muzzled.  

When transporting exempted XL Bully dogs, they should be on a lead and a muzzle at all times when they are in a vehicle as this is considered to be a public place. 

XL Bully owners who are licensed boarding operators   

Owning an exempt dog does not prevent individuals from holding or applying for a licence under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 ("the 2018 Regulations").  The statutory guidance published in support of the 2018 Regulations can be found here: Animal activities licensing: statutory guidance for local authorities - GOV.UK (  

From 31 December 2023, owners will have to keep their XL Bully dogs on a lead and muzzled when in public. They are not required to keep them on a lead and muzzle when they are not in a public place. In general, the operator's licensed property is unlikely to be considered a public place (that is a place which members of the public have access to without the invitation of the person occupying the property). If you are unsure if a property would be considered public place, you should consult legal advice.   

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