American “XL Bully” dogs may soon be banned in the UK following a series of violent attacks involving the breed. The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has announced that she has sought “urgent advice” on outlawing these dogs after an “appalling” attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham.
According to The Daily Mail on Sunday, September 10, 2023, the incident in Birmingham’s Bordesley Green area left the young girl and two men who intervened injured. West Midlands Police are currently investigating the attack.
In response to the incident, Braverman stated on social media, “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.”
The decision to seek advice comes after data revealed that the breed has been involved in the majority of fatal dog attacks in the UK since 2021. In 2021, two out of four fatal dog attacks involved XL Bulldogs, rising to six out of ten in 2022.
Animal experts have expressed concerns about potential fatalities if urgent action is not taken to address the rise of these genetically engineered American crosses in the UK.
While Braverman has requested advice, it will be the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs to add the breed to the banned list.
The recent attack in Birmingham occurred when the dog’s owner was taking it for a walk. A video taken from the top deck of a bus showed the rampage. The girl’s arms were bitten by the dog, but a man managed to pull the animal off her. She sought refuge in a nearby shop, but the XL Bully managed to escape. The dog later chased and attacked another man on a petrol station forecourt before it was stopped.
West Midlands Police have taken the dog to secure kennels while the investigation is ongoing. The owner has also been spoken to by officers.
These XL Bulldogs have been involved in several violent attacks in recent weeks, with videos on social media showing them chasing down victims. Last week, two of these dogs killed 22 pregnant sheep and injured 48 others in Wales, leading a farmer to shoot both animals.
Despite being banned in the UK almost 200 years ago, dog fighting is on the rise in the country, and breeds like the American Bully XL are the first choice for illegal dog fights. These dogs often display unnatural aggression due to violent training and years of inbreeding.
Underground breeders are creating “mutant crossbreeds” by mating banned pit bulls with legal mastiffs and bulldogs to circumvent dangerous dog laws.
The rise in dog attacks coincides with warmer weather, which tends to elevate tensions in both humans and animals. According to Emma Chandley, a practicing vet, dogs are more likely to attack during the warmer summer months, possibly influenced by rising temperatures and higher air pollution levels.