19 Sep American XL Bully Dog to be Banned in Britain
United Kingdom: Prime Minister of the U.K. Rishi Sunak has announced a ban on the American XL bully dog breed by the end of 2023 after a rise in the number of attacks. The PM said that ministers were asked to cooperate with experts and police so that the breed could be defined “with a view to outlawing it”. This breed is the first to be banned since 1991, the same year the Dangerous Dogs Act was brought into effect.
“The American XL bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children,” he said. “I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we’ve all seen. Yesterday we saw another suspected XL bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality”, said Rishi Sunak. “It is not currently a breed defined in law, so this vital first step must happen fast. It is clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs, it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on,” he continued.
On Friday, 15 September, a man named Ian Price was attacked by two American bully XL dogs in the West Midlands. Regrettably, Ian succumbed to his injuries. While the animals were euthanized afterwards, the public was outraged as this was not an isolated event. An American Bully XL was also spotted attacking people on the streets of Birmingham, injuring an 11-year-old girl in the process.
Rishi Sunak said the breed would be banned by the end of the year under the Dangerous Dogs Act, and that new laws would be in place shortly. These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe,” he said.
The XL Bully is the largest variant of the American Bully dog breed. It is estimated to have arrived on British shores around 2014, as a mix of different dogs including the American Pitbull Terrier, a breed banned previously under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The American XL bully breed was involved in 60% of the fatal dog attacks in the UK in 2022 and has been involved in at least two fatalities in 2023. Rishi Sunak’s official spokesperson denied any delay in the implementation of the ban, stating “Clearly, this breed of dog isn’t defined in law so it’s right to take the time to consider the best way to put an end to these horrendous attacks that we’re seeing. That work has been done and that’s why we’ve confirmed the position today”, he said.
The Dog Control Coalition, which is comprised of the RSPCA, Battersea, Blue Cross, the Dogs Trust, the British Veterinary Association, the Scottish SPCA, the Kennel Club and Hope Rescue, have opposed the decision to ban the XL Bully breed, stating they were “deeply concerned about the lack of data behind this decision”.
“The recent incidents are deeply distressing, and our thoughts are with all those involved and affected,” they said in a statement. “But banning the breed will sadly not stop these types of incidents recurring. For 32 years, the Dangerous Dogs Act has focused on banning types of dogs and yet has coincided with an increase in dog bites, and the recent deaths show that this approach isn’t working. The UK government must tackle the root issue by dealing with the unscrupulous breeders, who are putting profit before welfare, and the irresponsible owners whose dogs are dangerously out of control”, they said.