American XL Bully dogs are set to be banned in the United Kingdom following a series of recent attacks and public outcry. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak labeled them as a "danger to our communities" and has requested government ministers to legally define the characteristics of the breed with the help of police and canine experts. This move is a part of the government's efforts to protect the public from potential harm caused by these dogs.
The breed in question, the American XL Bully, is not recognized by organizations such as the Kennel Club in Britain or the American Kennel Club in the United States. However, the breed is believed to have been originally bred from the American pit bull terrier. Some campaigners have called for the American XL Bully to be included in the list of banned breeds, claiming that dangerous characteristics have been bred into them.
The UK already has a list of banned breeds, which includes pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo Argentinos, and fila Brasileiros. Prime Minister Sunak believes that the American XL Bully should be added to this list due to the potential risks it poses to the community, particularly children. Sunak 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."
The Kennel Club in the UK, while not recognizing the American XL Bully as a breed, argues that no breed is inherently dangerous. The organization believes that breed-specific bans fail to address the root causes of dog attacks, primarily irresponsible dog owners who train their dogs to be aggressive.
The American XL Bully is known for its muscular stature and heavier bone structure compared to pit bulls. The name “bully” in the breed's name originates from its historical use in blood sports, such as bull baiting.
The announcement of the ban came after a man tragically lost his life in an attack that is potentially linked to an American XL Bully. A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, initially being arrested for having dogs dangerously out of control. This incident followed another attack where an 11-year-old girl suffered serious injuries from an American XL Bully.
The ban on American XL Bullies will be the fourth breed to be prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991 in the UK, joining the pitbull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino, and fila Brasileiro.
While some organizations recognize the American XL Bully as a distinct breed, neither the U.K. nor the U.S. Kennel Clubs do so. However, it is important to note that the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe stated in 2019 that there is no scientific or statistical evidence to suggest that breed-specific bans effectively reduce the frequency or severity of injuries caused by dogs.
In conclusion, the British government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has announced its intention to ban American XL Bully dogs in response to recent attacks and concerns raised by the public. Sunak has requested government ministers to define the breed's characteristics with the help of experts. While the Kennel Club does not recognize the breed, it believes that no breed is inherently dangerous and that breed-specific bans may not effectively address the underlying issues leading to dog attacks. The ban, if implemented, will join the existing list of prohibited breeds in the United Kingdom.