UK to ban American XL bully dogs after recent attacks


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A man looks on his Pitbull dog during a defense demonstration.
MICHAL CIZEK / AFPA man looks on his Pitbull dog during a defense demonstration.

Within a week, one man was killed by a suspected XL bully and an 11-year-old girl was attacked by one of the stocky, muscular dogs

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Friday that American XL bully dogs would be banned by the end of the year after a man was killed in a suspected attack the day prior.

The announcement came less than a week after one of the stocky, muscular dogs was involved in an attack on an 11-year-old girl who was walking with her sister in the English city of Birmingham.

Sunak said he "shares the nation's horror" regarding a series of serious dog attacks.

"It's clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs, it's a pattern of behavior and it cannot go on," Sunak said in a video message.

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He noted that a man was killed on Thursday in central England in an attack involving a suspected XL bully dog. Police said someone was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

According to the campaign group Bully Watch – which advocates for a ban on selling and breeding large XL bully dogs – the breed was responsible for more than half of all fatal dog attacks in Britain last year.

XL bully dogs were originally bred from American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers and first appeared in the United Kingdom "around 2014 or 2015,” with the numbers growing rapidly in recent years, according to Bully Watch.

A number of British animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, said banning specific dog breeds is not the solution. They blamed "irresponsible breeding, rearing, and ownership,” and said the government should instead focus on "dog control regulations and on promoting responsible dog ownership and training.”

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