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XL Bullies will be officially banned in UK as Rishi Sunak finally cracks down

September 15, 2023

The announcement came after a man died in a suspected XL Bully attack in Stonnall, Staffordshire, the third incident involving allegedly out-of-control dogs in the West Midlands in less than a week.

Rishi Sunak has vowed to officially ban American XL Bully dogs by the end of the year.

In a video announcement posted to X, formerly Twitter, the Prime Minister said the breed would be banned due to a ‘pattern of behaviour’ that ‘cannot go on’.

This follows a string of attacks by the breed with a man being attacked by two Bullies yesterday in Stonnall, Staffordshire, and later died of his injuries.

Fatal dog attacks are on the rise, with seven already this year, compared to ten in 2022 and just five in 2021.

There are believed to be a few thousand of the breed in the UK but have been tied to an increasing share of fatal attacks: two out of four in 2021, six out of ten in 2022 and at least four out of six so far this year.

Earlier this year, 37-year-old Jonathan Hogg, died after being attacked by his friend’s Bully and in 2021, ten-year-old Jack Lis died after being mauled. The breed was also responsible for the mauling of 22 pregnant sheep in Wrexham, an 11-year-old spending the night in hospital in Birmingham and a child being bitten in a London park.

XL Bullies are a larger variant of the American Bully – a compact and muscular dog derived from the American Pit Bull Terrier and English bulldogs – and can grow up to 20 inches tall and have a distinctive broad head.

The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children,” Mr Sunak said in his statement.

“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.

While owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, I want to reassure people that we are urgently working on ways to stop these attacks and protect the public.

Today, I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks with a view to then outlawing it.

“It is not currently a breed defined in law so this first step must happen fast.

We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year.

These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all the necessary steps to keep people safe.”

The XL Bully would be added to the four recognised dangerous dogs banned in the UK: the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Fila Brasileiro.

The Dangerous Dogs Act was brought in in 1991, but no new breeds have been added to the list since.

The RSPCA said of the Bully breed last month: “Breed is not a reliable predictor of aggressive behaviour in dogs.

Every dog has the potential to bite.

“As we look to reduce dangerous dog incidents, we need solutions that promote responsible pet ownership. Tough sanctions for those who wilfully use dogs to frighten and intimidate people and other animals will also be key.”

Since the announcement, Barbsbury Police has seize three dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The dogs were out of control with two of them having killed several other pets, while the third attacked and bit a man who was trying to protect his own dog.

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