Will American XL Bully dogs be banned? Inside shock rise in maulings with 350 attacks in less than a YEAR | The Sun
A BAN on American XL bully dogs has been planned after a shock rise in maulings, with 350 attacks in less than a year.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman revealed she wanted to outlaw the breed following the latest in a series of gruesome incidents, this time injuring a girl aged 11 in Birmingham.
Campaigners say XL bully dogs have become dangerously out of control and should be blocked from entering the UK or being bred here.
Yet animal charities have hit back against the idea of whole-breed bans, saying it could lead to more dogs unfairly put down.
Bully dogs have been linked to nine deaths since 2021, including three children.
Could American XL bully dogs be banned?
Ms Braverman shared video footage of the Birmingham attack on X/Twitter as she vowed to take action against the breed.
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She branded XL bully dogs "a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly to children".
She added: "We can’t go on like this. I have commissioned urgent advice on banning them."
She shared the social media clip from September 9 showing the XL bully mauling the girl before savaging a man in Bordesley Green in Birmingham.
The animal was seen biting the girl’s arm before being briefly held by a man in a green tank top but escaping and attacking another man.
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DEVIL DOG BAN
Home Sec vows to outlaw killer XL Bully dogs after horror attack on girl, 11
West Midlands Police said: "The dog was initially taken to a local vet to be checked over before being taken into secure kennels.
"The owner of the dog has been spoken to by officers."
XL Bullys are bred from a blend of dogs, mainly the American pit bull terrier which was outlawed here in 1991.
Underground breeders have been able to mix legal pit bulls with other dogs, with a Sun on Sunday probe earlier this year finding canines being offered for as much as £2,500 online.
Ms Braverman's suggested ban has been backed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.
He told LBC radio of being "shocked" watching the Birmingham clip.
He said: "I think there's a strong case for banning this breed of dog.
"I want to see what the government is going to put forward – I hope we can do this speedily and constructively.
"I don’t think anybody looking at the footage can simply sit back and say nothing needs to change – clearly there needs to be change."
How many XL bully dog attacks have there been?
Campaign group Bully Watch UK has documented 351 attacks by the dogs this year alone.
They say 43 per cent of all maulings are caused by large bully and there has been a 435 per cent surge in dog attacks overall since 2013.
They also recorded 14 deaths in attacks by the animals in 2021 – 11 confirmed and another three suspected.
Doug Smith, who runs the group, told The Sun a ban on the breed was long-overdue – but he was sceptical over whether it would be effectively enforced.
He said: "We welcome talk of a ban but the truth is it has to be done quickly – we're counting down until someone else is killed.
"Each day that goes by, we're seeing more attacks and we've already had far too many.
"The Birmingham attack caught on video was very powerful but many more like that are happening all the time.
"The havoc these dogs can cause is unbelievable and sometimes it will take as many as five or eight men to contain them because of these dogs' muscularity and power..
He said too many "irresponsible" owners were buying the breed, mistakenly seeing them as "very loyal" and "people-centric".
He added: "The damage they cause is so much more significant than other kinds of dogs.
"These dogs are bad news and the government needs to get its act together, not just to ban them but also to actually enforce that rather than just applying a sticking plaster.
"Even a delay of a few months could be disastrous."
There were 22,000 dog attacks causing injury in England and Wales last year, up by a third since the 16,000 in 2018.
Brits killed by dogs
American bullys, including the XL breed, have been responsible for 73 per cent of dog-related deaths in Britain since last year.
This is despite them only accounting for a tiny proportion of the total canine population.
Brits are 270 times more likely to be killed by American bullys than by any other breed, Bully Watch UK say.
Ten-year-old Jack Lis was killed by an eight-stone American bully named Beast in November 2021 in Caerphilly, south Wales.
Beast's owner Brandon Hayden, then 19, was sentenced to four years behind bars in June last year.
And Amy Salter, then 29, was given three year in prison after the duo pleaded guilty to being in charge of the out-of-control dog.
Jack's mother has now questioned why the government did not act sooner to ban the breed.
Emma Whitfield posted on X/Twitter: "It's crazy how this video has gone viral and now politicians are coming out of the woodwork saying how bad it is.
"Where were you when my son was killed? Where were you when other innocent people were killed?
"Where were you when I was at Parliament asking for change? Nowhere.
"If you're going to do something, please do it.
"Maybe you can do this and work on the backyard breeders and the thuggish owners ruining lives too."
In May this year a dad aged 37, Jonathan Hogg, was mauled to death by an American bully XL in Leigh, Greater Manchester.
That same month Natasha Johnson, 28, was killed by dogs while walking a pack – reportedly including her own American bully XL – in Caterham in Surrey.
Those tragedies came a month after an inquest heard Ian Symes, 34, was killed in Fareham, Hampshire, with "catastrophic" neck injuries when mauled by a 52kg XL Bully dog bought on Snapchat.
And mum Katie Deere told last week how she sacrificed her own arm to save her daughter from an XL bully in Askern, South Yorkshire.
Yet opponents say any breed-specific ban would be the wrong approach.
The Dog Control Coalition opposes such a ban and also wants the government to overhaul the Dangerous Dogs Act introduced 32 years ago.
That already outlaws four breeds – pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos and Fila Brasileiros.
The coalition is a campaigning alliance including groups such as the RSPCA, the British Veterinary Association and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
They say adding more breeds of dog to the "banned list" will only see more dogs destroyed just because of how they look, without tackling "root causes" of aggressive and dangerous behaviour.
A spokesperson called the Birmingham attack "a deeply distressing incident" and said their thoughts were "with all those involved".
They said: "We are all incredibly concerned about the rising number of dog bite incidents and the biggest priority of everyone involved is to protect the public."
But they suggested the "troubling rise" in dog bites and deaths showed the Dangerous Dogs Act "simply isn't working".
They went on: "Sadly, the increased popularity of American XL bullies has made them valuable commodities, resulting in irresponsible breeding, rearing and ownership, which can all contribute to an increased likelihood of aggression in dogs, regardless of breed.
"The view of all leading animal charities is that the solution is not banning more types.
"Instead, the government needs to focus on the improvement and enforcement of current breeding and dog control regulations, and on promoting responsible dog ownership and training."
And the Dogs Trust said they would prefer to see current legislation "with one consolidated law that allows for early intervention with a focus on the prevention of dog bite incidents".
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They added measures should deter and punish owners of dogs whose behaviour is "dangerous".
The charity said: "We will continue to look for reform in existing dog control laws until we are satisfied that any new measures are preventative, breed-neutral and effective, and ultimately protect both dogs and people alike."
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