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8th January 2024

With the recent legislation regarding XL Bully type dogs coming into force we have been receiving a high volume of queries regarding businesses working with banned breed dogs. Below we outline information that may answer some of the most frequent questions we are being asked.

An emailer will be sent out shortly to all policyholders who may be affected by the legislation.

We have always been able to offer cover for most businesses who work with banned breeds (subject to policy terms being applied) and our insurer’s stance has not changed with the recent addition of XL Bully type dogs being added to the banned breeds list.

AVIVA Kennel Clients

Aviva will provide cover for the boarding of banned breed dogs that are kept in a kennel / unit / pen that cannot be accessed by any other dog. Whilst within the kennel / unit / pen the dog does not need to be muzzled or kept on a lead, however, once outside it must be on a lead and muzzled at all times. If the kennels has its own secure field on site the dog can be exercised off-lead, provided there are no other dogs and only one member of staff present at the time. When in use the paddock must not be accessible by the public. An additional fee will be charged.

CERTAIN UNDERWRITERS AT LLOYDS Small Animal Trade Clients (including Pet Minders, Trainers, Groomers etc.)

Any policyholders wishing to work with banned breed dogs do need to contact us, there will be no additional premium to pay but terms do need to be added to the policy. The following endorsement will be applied:-

“ASP3 Banned Breeds

It is a condition precedent to liability that for any dog which is a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and/or as subsequently amended within the United Kingdom the following guidelines are strictly adhered to whilst the dog is in Your care, custody or control:
    1. The dog is registered with The Index of Exempted Dogs (IED) and a copy of the life certificate is obtained and provided           to Us.
    2. A copy of the Public Liability insurance certificate for the dog is obtained and provided to Us.
    3. The dog to handler ratio is 1:1 at all times.
    4. All guidelines under The Index of Exempted Dogs are strictly adhered to and the dog must be:
                i. Neutered.
               ii. Micro chipped.
             iiii. Kept on a lead no greater than 1 meter in length and muzzled at all times when in a public place.
               iv. Kept in a secure place so it cannot escape.”

Dog Walkers
If you are walking an XL bully and there are more dogs in the household, you will not be able to walk the other dogs at the same time as the XL Bully, unless you have an employee who can walk the other dogs in a different location.

Provided the grooming area is private (such as a separate room, that can be secured), the dogs can be un-muzzled when being groomed, but must be muzzled and on a lead when moving around the site.  If the grooming area is a shared space the dogs need to be muzzled when being groomed.  The staff to dog ratio should be no less than 1:1.

In order for cover to be in place the dog must be at a ratio of 1:1 with the trainer, therefore we cannot offer cover for the dog to attend group classes.

Provided the pool is being used privately for the Banned Breed, the dog can be un-muzzled when in the pool, but must be muzzled and on a lead when moving around the site.  If other treatments are being performed provided these take place in a private area (such as a separate room, that can be secured) the dog can be un muzzled and off lead.  The staff to dog ratio should be no less than 1:1

Day Care Facilities
We will not be able to provide cover for Banned Breeds attending a day care facility.

Dog Walking Fields
Our policy provides public liability cover to the land owner whilst the land/ field is hired out, subject to regular inspection. We are happy that banned breeds continue to use the field on a Private Hire basis (if the field owners wish to allow it of course). The dog owner needs to secure the field upon their entry as per instructions from field owner. If the dog owner wishes to let their dogs off the lead and un-muzzled when in the field, it is purely their decision. The Insurers view is that a field hired for private use is not a Public Area. All owners must ensure that their dogs are muzzled and on a lead when not in the secure field. Should the dog owner have multiple dogs at home then we see no reason why all the household dogs cannot be exercised together as one hire.

As the field owner (insured) will not be responsible for the dog at any time they do not need to provide us with a copy of insurance etc, This will only be required if the field owner is in charge of the dog.

Un-neutered Dogs
Should a dog not be neutered before April 2024, the policy will still cover these dogs up until that date. Any un-neutered dogs after this date will not be covered.

On a final note ……. we cannot advise our customers if a dog belonging to one of their clients is an XL Type. The onus has to be on the dog’s owner to get confirmation (their vet is their best course), if at any point our customers do not feel comfortable that the owners are being truthful or they do not feel comfortable working with a dog it will be their decision alone, we cannot advise on that. If an owner is adamant the dog is not classed as an XL and our customer still wants work with it, we would suggest that written confirmation is obtained from the owner.


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