Grey xl bully dog sitting with his tongue out.

Adra reminds tenants of XL Bully dogs deadlines

Adra Housing Association is encouraging its tenants who own XL Bully dogs to get their animals registered for exemption ahead of a January 31, 2024 deadline.

The UK Government has announced it will become illegal to own an XL Bully in England and Wales from 1st February, 2024 unless owners have a Certificate of Exemption for their dog.

Any owners who have not registered their dogs before the deadline could face costs to have them retrieved from kennels.

And from December 31st, all XL Bully dogs must wear a muzzle and be kept on a lead when in a public place. For Adra tenants, this would mean any communal areas, including inside blocks of flats. Owners of XL Bully dogs are recommended to start training their dog to wear muzzles ahead of the implementation date.

The new law also includes the following requirements:

  • If your dog is less than one year old on 31 January 2024, they must be neutered by 31 December 2024)
  • They are kept in a secure place so that they cannot escape.
  • Owners must also have third party liability insurance against their dog injuring other people, be aged over 16, show the Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or Council dog warden, either at the time or within 5 days.
  • have third party liability insurance against your dog injuring other people (you can obtain this via the Dogs Trust membership scheme here:
  • let the Index of Exempt Dogs know if you change address, or your dog dies.


Adra’s own policies on keeping animals states that consideration may be given to awarding permission for a dog prohibited to live within properties owned by Adra provided:

  • that they have been included on the Index of Exempt Dogs;
  • the customer has provided Adra with a copy of the relevant Certificate of Exemption within 5 days of Adra requesting the same;
  • that Adra do not have concerns as to the customer’s ability to look after and control animals;
  • the customer is complying with relevant legislation and guidance, and can demonstrate this to Adra within 5 days of any request (e.g. keeping the dog in a secure place from which they cannot escape, obtaining insurance, neutering the dog, and ensuring the dogs wears a muzzle in public places.

Sion Hughes, Assistant Director – Customers and Communities, said: “We have worked with registered dogs charities to raise the profile of the regulations and to make sure that our tenants and the wider community understand the changes coming into effect.

“Adra has no intention of banning XL Bullies or acting against tenants solely based on owning such dogs. However, we do have a duty to inform and remind tenants of the new laws coming into effect and to ensure that dogs do not cause a nuisance to neighbours.

“Applying for a Certificate of Exemption may take some time to process, especially as the registration date edges closer, so we are encouraging dog owners to get them registered as early as possible.

“Some people may be unsure if their dogs are of the XL Bully breed. In the interests of being cautious and to avoid any unnecessary costs, if any dog owners believe their animals could be XL Bully dogs, they should get their animals registered”.