XL Bully dog owners are being reminded they must apply for an exemption certificate as the deadline approaches.

Owners must have applied for this before July 31 so they can continue to legally own their dogs.

From August 1, it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully without an exemption certificate or to have applied for one by that date.

How can I get an exemption certificate?

Owners can apply online or by post for a £92.40 fee, while they must also obtain third party insurance and neuter and microchip their dogs.

You can apply for a certificate HERE.

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The deadline for online applications is midnight on July 31 while postal applications must have been received by July 15.

How many dogs have been registered?

Since April 1, when the exemption application process opened, 761 dogs have been registered online with seven postal applications received.

In line with the initial safeguards introduced on February 23, XL Bully dogs must continue to be muzzled and kept on a lead in public.

Owners who decide not to keep their dogs will be able to apply for compensation.

What has the Scottish Government said?

Community Safety Minister Siobhian Brown said she “welcomed” the news that more than 700 applications have been received.

“We are now half-way through the time period available to apply for an exemption and I encourage owners who have not yet applied to do so now.

“The scheme is necessary to allow for XL Bully owners to legally keep their dogs in the long term, while agreeing to adhere to the necessary safeguards that will help reduce any risks to public safety.”