The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has applauded the decision by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) to extend the deadline for neutering XL Bully dogs in England and Wales, following advocacy efforts by the veterinary profession.

The extension allows XL Bully dogs, who were under seven months old on 31 January 2024, to be neutered by 30 June 2025. BVA President Anna Judson said, “We’re pleased that the Government has listened to the veterinary profession’s concerns and has taken on board our calls to extend the neutering age for XL Bullies in England and Wales to the recommended 18 months instead of one year.

“Given increasing evidence that neutering large breeds of dogs early can lead to developmental orthopaedic problems, alongside other medical conditions, this move strikes the right balance between ensuring the dogs’ health and preventing breeding. It will also help ease the likely pressure on already overstretched vet teams.”

The extension in England and Wales follows a similar move in Scotland, where BVA successfully advocated for extended neutering deadlines for XL Bully dogs. This measure, coupled with the breed ban in Scotland, ensures the health and welfare of these dogs and enables the veterinary profession to manage the anticipated surge in neutering procedures.

For further details on the extension and its implications, refer to the official announcement from Defra.