American XL bully dogs will be banned by the end of the year following a series of dangerous attacks, says Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
The PM has said the breed is “a danger to our communities” after a 52-year-old man was killed by two suspected American bullies in Staffordshire. A four-year-old boy was attacked recently in an east London park and an 11-year-old girl was injured in Birmingham.
American XL bully dogs are believed to have been bred in the US in the 1980s and are a cross between an American pit bull terrier and an American Staffordshire terrier. Now other breeds have been crossed to make more muscular dogs.
Animal charities have said they don’t believe banning the dogs is the right thing to do. A spokesperson from the Dog Control Coalition – a network made up of Battersea, Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club, RSPCA, Scottish SPCA and Hope Rescue – says the demand for these type of dogs means people are breeding and owning them irresponsibly.
It added: “The solution to the concerning number of dog bite incidents and fatalities is not to ban this or any other breed of dog, because a ban would not effectively protect the public.”
Instead the charity wants the Government to focus on “the improvement of current breeding and dog control regulations, and on promoting responsible dog ownership and training”.