Rishi Sunak announced that American XL Bully dogs will be banned by the end of the year but this has left owners fearing for their pets’ futures.

Restrictions will be placed on the breed to “safely manage” them once a ban comes into force but what does this mean for existing American XL Bullies?

Owners of this breed will not have their dogs taken away from them and they will be able to continue living however, some measures will be put in place, Downing Street has said.

What will happen to existing American XL Bully dogs as the ban comes into force?

The measures will be put in place to cover the “existing population” of the dogs in response to concerns that they will still be allowed on the streets once a ban on new owners comes in.

Existing owners could face a requirement to neuter their dogs and muzzle them in public, the Government’s chief vet has suggested.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We will need to safely manage the existing population of these dogs. Exactly what that looks like will be a topic for the consultation.

“And there will need to be some sort of transition period.”

When will the breed be banned?

Rishi Sunak explained that the ban of the breed will be in force by the end of 2023 with the first step taking place this week.

The first step of the move to ban American XL bullies will see police, vets and other experts helping to define the breed.

Then the consultation will take place on the ban which will come in by the end of 2023.

The Chief Veterinary Officer indicated on Saturday that there will be an “amnesty” approach, echoing the way the ban on pit bull terriers under the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced in the 1990s.

Owners will need to register their American XL bully and the dog will be required to be neutered, Professor Christine Middlemiss said.

Their owners will need to make sure they are muzzled and on a lead when in public.

American XL Bullies will also need to be insured and she stressed that anyone complying with the new restrictions will be able to keep their dog.