Following a brutal attack on a young girl in Birmingham that also injured two men, American XL bully dogs are once again making news.
Following a slew of recent attacks, home secretary Suella Braverman is advocating for a ban on the dogs.
How likely is a ban, though, and what exactly is an XL bully?
American XL bully dogs have been crossed with other breeds like English bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogge, and American bulldogs. They are canines that are related to pitbull terriers.
The United Kennel Club in the US recognized XLs as a breed in 2013, however the UK’s major dog groups do not.
They come in four sizes—pocket, standard, classic, and XL—and range in height and weight from 33 to 50 cm and 20 to 60 kg, respectively.
An XL bully was involved in two out of every four fatalities in the UK in 2021, and at least six out of ten fatalities in 2022. XLs were behind 45% of dog assaults on people and other dogs in 2018, according to Bully Watch, a foundation started by a group of dog owners to monitor the breed.
The dogs should be banned, according to Ms. Braverman, who claims that they pose a “clear and lethal danger,” particularly to children.
After calling attention to the “appalling” attack on an 11-year-old child over the weekend, she has commissioned “urgent advice” on banning the dogs.
The department of environment secretary Therese Coffey is in charge of adding canines to the list of animals that are prohibited, but there are allegedly questions about whether or not the American bulldog can be included.
Some worry that because the breed is not recognized by the Kennel Club, it may be difficult to identify it and that if it were outlawed, a variety of other canines may also become illegal.
The girl and two men who intervened were hurt in the incident on Saturday in the Bordesley Green neighborhood, and Ms. Braverman pounced on the news that the West Midlands Police were looking into it.
“This is horrible. According to Ms. Braverman’s social media posts, “The American XL Bully is a blatant and deadly risk to our communities, especially to children.
“This cannot continue. I’ve asked for urgent guidance on outlawing them.
According to an advisor, the counsel was commissioned last week.
On the list created by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), it is illegal to own, breed, or sell dogs.
But having a dog that is dangerously out of control is also illegal and is punishable by jail time and a limitless amount of penalties.
The mother of Jack Lis, 10, who died in Caerphilly, South Wales, after being mauled by an American bully, Emma Whitfield, has been advocating for a reform in the legislation.
Sir John Hayes, a close supporter of Ms. Braverman’s, has been advocating for a ban on the dog he claims is “bred to kill” in the House of Commons.
Breed-specific prohibitions, according to animal welfare organizations like the RSPCA, work against dogs deemed to be “dangerous” and result in the killing of thousands of “innocent” animals.
They want to emphasize individual behavior and risky property owners.
A representative for Dogs Trust stated: “Dogs Trust wants to see the current dog control laws replaced with a single, comprehensive law that would allow for early intervention with an emphasis on dog bite incident prevention and include measures that deter and penalize owners of dogs with aggressive behavior.
“Until we are confident that any new measures are preventative, breed-neutral, and effective, and ultimately protect both dogs and people alike,” the statement reads. “We will continue to look for reform in existing dog control laws.”
The pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino, and fila Brasileiro are the four dog breeds that are now prohibited in the UK.
A mother and 28-year-old lady from Doncaster was hospitalized last month after being bitten by one of the dogs as she was wheeling a pram.
She was rushed to the hospital to receive treatment for significant arm injuries.
A six-year-old boy was hospitalized earlier this year after being mauled by an American Staffordshire terrier in Highfields, also in Doncaster, with potentially “life-changing” injuries.
A newborn baby was killed by her parents’ Siberian husky in March of last year during an attack in the woods at Ostler’s Plantation near Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire.
Vince King and Karen Alcock, her parents, received suspended sentences from a judge at Lincoln Crown Court, sparing them from going to jail.
After being attacked by an XL bully dubbed Beast at a residence in Caerphilly, Wales, in 2021, 10-year-old Jack Lis passed away from “unsurvivable injuries” as a result of his injuries.