MORE than 350 XL Bullies have been registered in Bradford after a law was brought in this February that banned the ownership of the large dogs without an exemption certificate.

The breed, which is an offshoot of the American Pit Bull Terrier, has come under fire in recent years after a number of vicious attacks, some of which have proved fatal.

The Government announced last October that the breed would be added to the dangerous dogs list and it has been illegal to own an XL Bully since February this year.

That is unless you have a valid Certificate of Exemption, with the deadline for applying online at midday on January 31.

There are currently 50,000 XL Bullies registered in England and Wales.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request sent to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) revealed where these dogs live across the country.

A total of 358 have been registered at Bradford postcodes.

The largest concentration is in the BD6 area, which covers Buttershaw and Wibsey, with 39 of the breed in that area having secured exemption.

A sign for ButtershawA sign for Buttershaw (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

This is ranked 488th across the rest of the country, with the highest amount in Croydon (219), followed by the S5 postcode, just north of Sheffield (189), and then a southern area of Warrington (182).

The next highest for Bradford is in the BD4 area (35 and 571st in the country), which covers the areas of Bierley, Bowling, East Bierley, Laisterdyke, Tong, Tong Street, and Tyersal.

In third is the BD21 area, covering Hainworth and Keighley, where there are 32 XL Bullies (643rd in the country).

The rundown of other areas (from next highest to lowest) is as follows:

  • BD10 and BD13 – 30 (685th in the country)
  • BD22 – 27 (777th)
  • BD2 – 22 (951st)
  • BD12 – 21 (987th)
  • BD5 – 20 (1019th)
  • BD7 – 19 (1057th)
  • BD18 and BD20 – 16 (1172nd)
  • BD9 – 15 (1214th)
  • BD19 – 14 (1258th)
  • BD8 – 12 (1363rd)
  • BD23 – 10 (1478th)

There is no data for those areas with fewer than 10 approved applications.

This includes: BD1, BD3, BD11, BD14, BD15, BD16, BD17, and BD23.

Even if an owner has a Certificate of Exemption, your XL Bully must be microchipped, kept on a lead and muzzled at all times in public places, and kept in secure conditions that will stop it from escaping.

When asked by a police constable or authorised local authority officer, owners must also provide access to the dog to read its microchip, and confirmation of a suitable third-party liability insurance and the Certificate of Exemption within five days of their request.

The law stipulates that an exempt XL Bully must be neutered before June 30 this year if it was one year old or above on January 31, 2024.

If the dog was at least seven months old but less than 12 months old on that date, you have until the end of this year, and if it was under seven months, the XL Bully must be neutered before June 30, 2025.

It is also a criminal offence to: sell, abandon or let stray, give away, and breed or breed from an XL Bully.

Those who missed the deadline to apply for a Certificate of Exemption must now contact their local police force.

The Dogs Trust website says a Dog Legislation Officer would “need to assess your dog to confirm if they are a prohibited breed”.

If this is the case, a court would then determine whether the dog is a danger to the public, that you are a fit and proper owner, and are able to keep the animal safely in your home.

The website continues: “This can be a lengthy process, and it is possible that your dog will be removed from the home until the process is completed.

“If the court is satisfied and recommends that you can keep your dog, they will issue a Contingent Destruction Order which will allow you to apply for a Certificate of Exemption.”