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The deadline for self-exemption of XL Bullies has passed – We Can Help!

The deadline for self-exemption of XL Bullies has passed – We Can Help!

The deadline for self-exemption of XL Bullies has passed – We Can Help!

The Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order 2023, 2023 No. 1164 has added the type of dog known as the XL Bully to the list of types of dogs that are prohibited for the purposes of Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (“The Act”).

The deadline for submission of self-exemption applications expired on 22 January 2024, and as of 1 February 2024, anyone in possession of such a dog may be liable for arrest, prosecution, criminal record, conviction, and destruction of the dog. This is a very frightening prospect and the reason why some 35,000 – 40,000 applications for self-exemption have already been submitted. However, the deadline has now passed, and you may be in a very distressing and difficult position. The route to exemption is now barred, and you will require the sympathetic intervention of your local Dog Legislation Officer.

Section 4B of The Act allows the police to apply to the magistrates’ court for a destruction order, or a contingent destruction order, without the owner being prosecuted. In this way, the owner may avoid a criminal record. By way of representations to the local Dog Legislation Officer it may be possible to bring about such an application, but there are risks and concessions involved.  The owner may be obliged to accept that his dog is of type and where the police are persuaded that the owner is responsible and that the dog is of good temperament (not dangerous) should an application proceed before the court, it may be possible to secure a contingent destruction order, thereby avoiding destruction if the conditions are adhered to. However, bringing your dog to the attention of the police may likewise lead to the most undesirable consequences which you seek to avoid.

Legal Aid is not available for representations to bring about a police application under Section 4B or for any court proceedings that arise therefrom, and you will need expert dog behaviourist evidence which can be expensive. You will need to pay privately should you require advice or representation.  We are in regular contact with experts and police forces and will be able to assess whether your dog would be suitable for intervention under Section 4B of The Act.  Indeed, our expert may assess your dog as not of type, in which case you will have a strong argument against the suggestion that your dog is a prohibited breed.  Sadly, the alternative is that you face the prospect of arrest, criminal record, seizure, and destruction order.  If you are arrested for possession of a prohibited breed under Section 1 The Act, you will be eligible for Legal Aid during interview under caution at the police station.  You may be eligible for Legal Aid where you are charged with possession of a prohibited breed and the matter proceeds to court.

How we can help – Speak to our Criminal Law Specialists

Martin Crawford-Brown, Head of Private Crime at IBB Law, is a specialist in Dog Law and can assist you where you do not qualify for Legal Aid or in any event wish to pay privately. Where you are eligible for Legal Aid, one of our experienced criminal defence lawyers will be able to assist you.  In the first instance call our helpline on  0345 340 2169 or email criminaldefence@ibblaw.co.uk.