- Activists Applaud Ban on American XL Bully Dogs
- Concerns About Feasibility and Impact on Other Breeds
- Government’s Urgent Response and Proposed Legislation
Advocates say the breed is a “clear and present threat” to public health and cheer the ban. However, the ban may not be practical and could lead to the ban of other dogs.
Rishi Sunak vowed to prohibit American XL bullies after a guy was killed.
The prime minister said he “shared the nation’s horror” at such atrocities and that they must stop.
Mr. Sunak was responding to a Thursday afternoon incident in Stonnall, Staffordshire, where two dogs killed a man.
A ban on American bully XL dogs was already being considered after horrifying footage of an attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham emerged over the weekend.
In two days, South Yorkshire Police reported four separate dog attacks on minors. Including one in which a 15-year-old was hospitalized after being attacked by an XL bully in Sheffield.
Monday, a grey pitbull-type dog attacked a four-year-old boy in London, and police are searching for the dog’s owner.
However, the Dog Control Coalition—RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and Kennel Club—said banning XL bully dogs will not stop assaults.
A coalition spokeswoman stated that any prohibition should be based on “robust evidence” and that the coalition was “deeply concerned” by the “lack of data behind this decision and its potential to prevent dog bites.”
She added, “Protecting the public is the top priority for everyone involved. But banning the breed will not prevent future incidents of this nature.”
“For the past 32 years, the Dangerous Dogs Act has focused on prohibiting specific dog breeds, which has coincided with an increase in dog bites. Recent deaths demonstrate that this approach is ineffective.”
The coalition urges ministers to address the “root cause” by taking action against “profit-driven breeders” and “responsible dog owners.”
Sunak: ‘This cannot go on’
Previously, in a video statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, the prime minister stated, “The American XL bully dog is a threat to our communities, especially our children”.
I share the nation’s revulsion over the recent videos that we have all viewed. Yesterday, another suspected XL bully dog attack resulted in a tragic loss of life.
It is clear that this is not a few poorly taught dogs, but a pattern that must continue.
While it is already the responsibility of dog owners to keep their animals under control, I want to reassure the public that we are urgently working on solutions to stop these attacks and safeguard the public.
Today, I’ve ordered ministers to gather police and experts to identify and outlaw the dog breed that attacks.
“This breed is not presently defined by law, so this crucial first step must be taken immediately”.
We will outlaw the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and pass new laws before year’s end.
“Because these dogs are dangerous, I want to assure the public that we will take every precaution to ensure their safety.”
“Animals cause suffering in our communities.”
Home Secretary Suella Braverman also posted to X, stating, “Today’s tragedy demonstrates the necessity of banning the American XL Bully.
They pose a threat to human life and wreak havoc on our communities.
“We are taking measures to ban them, and in the interim, I expect law enforcement to use all available means to protect the public from these beasts.”
Meanwhile, Downing Street maintained that the government took too long to ban American XL bully dogs.
The prime minister’s spokesman said ministers “dragged their feet” in banning the breed.
“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.”
As the American XL bully is not recognized as a breed by the Kennel Club, there is concern that any attempt to suppress the animal could inadvertently outlaw other dog breeds.
It has resulted in calls for a revision of the existing law so that it concentrates “not on the breed but on the deed,” or even for the entire law to be “sent to the knacker’s yard.”
“A direct and present danger”
Thursday in parliament, former Tory MP Baroness Fookes suggested that the Dangerous Dogs Act should be examined more radically.
“It is time for a brand-new system to be implemented and this one to be retired.
“I say this with some regret because I was the one who introduced it in the other chamber [the House of Commons] in the first place.”
Lord Hogan-Howe, a former police chief, advocated for a national amnesty to remove dangerous dogs from the streets.
Following the death of five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson, who was mauled by a prohibited pitbull-type dog on New Year’s Day at her grandmother’s home in St. Helens, he instituted such a measure in 2007 as the chief of the Merseyside force.
Campaign organizations have applauded the government’s proposed prohibition.
Bully Watch, the Campaign for Evidence-Based Regulation of Dangerous Dogs (CEBRDD), and Protect Our Pets asserted in a joint statement that the breed posed “a clear and present threat to public health.”
“Retrievers retrieve; pointers point,” stated CEBRDD’s Lawrence Newport. Dogs that fight the battle. We discovered this at our tremendous expense.
“The arrival of the American bully, a pitbull-type dog with considerable inbreeding, dramatically increased mortality and attacks. This ban will finally allow the government and police to act before another child or animal is harmed.”