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Will American XL bully dogs be banned in the UK?


Will American XL bully dogs be banned in the UK?


merican XL bully dogs have made headlines in recent months after being linked to a number of attacks on humans and other animals.

In March, 22 pregnant sheep were killed on a farm near Wrexham, while the most recent incident involved an 11-year-old girl and a man getting attacked in Birmingham on Saturday September 9.

In reaction to the Birmingham attack, Home Secretary Suella Braverman tweeted: “This is appalling. The American XL bully is a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly to children. We can’t go on like this. I have commissioned urgent advice on banning them.”

As the Government looks into banning the breed, here is a look at the genetic background of American XL bully dogs, when they came to the UK, and how likely they are to be banned.

What is an American bully XL?

The American bullies are thought to have been around since the late 1980s, when American Staffordshire terriers and pitbull terriers were crossed. Over time, they have been crossed with a number of other breeds to create an even more muscular dog.

There are four types of American bullies: standard, pocket, classic and XL.

Are American bullies dangerous?

Over the years American bullies have been involved in a number of devastating attacks.

Talking to BBC News, an NHS consultant surgeon, Richard Baker, said they have “such powerful jaws” that “the wounds are worse compared to other breeds”.

He explained: “In [American bullies] it’s a crushing or a tearing injury. Once they grip they don’t let go. That kind of injury is more damaging than smaller dogs.”

Baker went on to say that American bullies break bones, shred skin and damage nerves. “If the nerves are damaged and can’t be repaired, which is often the case if it’s ripped out, it is common to form a source of ongoing pain,” he added.

Will the XL bully going to be banned in the UK?

Thus far, the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 has banned four dog breeds: American pitbull terrier, the Japanese tosa, the Dogo Argentinos and the Fila Brazileiro.

The act gives the Government the right to ban any breeds that appear to be “bred for fighting or to have the characteristics of a type bred for that purpose”. However, as the breed is not specifically recognised by the Kennel Club and the breed is difficult to specifically define given its complex cross-breeding, some dog owners are worried that the ban would end up outlawing other breeds too.

A number of charities, including Battersea, the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club, have come together to create the Dog Control Coalition, which asserts that breed-specific bans are ineffective.

It said: “Thirty-two years of the Dangerous Dogs Act, which has focused on banning specific types, has coincided with a troubling increase in dog bites and fatalities. This approach simply isn’t working.”

However, Mr Baker, who has dealt with the aftermath of dog attacks, has a different view.

“I can’t see any reason why a responsible person would want to own a dog that is bred for violence,” he said. “Nobody needs a vicious, dangerous animal.”

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