Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stated that the American XL Bully dog is “a danger to communities” and will be outlawed in the UK by the end of the year.
The American XL bully dog breed will be banned in the United Kingdom by the end of the year due to a series of attacks, according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Prime Minister Sunak stated that he asked other ministers to work with police and experts to define the breed “with a view of outlawing it.” This marks the first breed to be banned since the creation of the Dangerous Dogs Act in 1991.
“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 behavior and it cannot go on,” he stated.
“The American XL bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children. 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.”
This past Friday it was confirmed that 52-year-old Ian Price had died after being attacked by two dogs in Stonnall, West Midlands, with police stating that they believed that the animals were XL bully dogs, both of which were killed.
Public outcries began last week after footage of an XL bully dog attacking people in the streets of Birmingham, including an 11-year-old girl, was released. Sunak stated that the breed would be banned under the Dangerous Dog Act and new laws would be put in place by the end of the year. “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 breed, and is believed to have first appeared in the UK around 2014. The XL bully is also thought to be bred from the American pitbull, which is one of four breeds that has been banned from the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Sunak’s official spokesperson stated that they deny there has been any delay to the ban, and that the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs and the Home Office are jointly implementing the ban.
“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.”
According to reports from The Guardian: “The Dog Control Coalition – which is made up of the RSPCA, Battersea, Blue Cross, the Dogs Trust, the British Veterinary Association, the Scottish SPCA, the Kennel Club and Hope Rescue – have opposed a ban on the breed and said 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. 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 dog and yet has coincided with an increase in dog bites, and the recent deaths show that this approach isn’t working,” they said in a statement.
“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.”
Rhianna Tsiattalou, a criminal defense lawyer, stated that “a ban on these dogs could inadvertently lead to other dog breeds being included under the same category and consequently banned in the UK. The cross-bred nature of these dogs means it would be a challenge to enforce a ban in every case.”
Bully Watch, the Campaign for Evidence Based Regulation of Dangerous Dogs, and Protect Our Pets – claimed that the ban was “key to protecting the health of both humans and dogs.”
“Our research shows these dogs are a clear and present threat to public health, and are significantly more dangerous than other dogs – they have caused the majority of human deaths and the death or maiming of countless beloved pets as they have risen in popularity in the last three years,” they said.
Current owners of a banned breed can receive a certificate of exemption that allows them to keep their dogs under strict conditions, such as ensuring the animal is fixed, microchipped, and always kept on a leash and muzzled in public.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.