UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday described the American Bully XL dog breed as a “danger to our communities” and announced plans to ban the breed following public protests over a series of recent attacks.
Sunak said he had asked government ministers to bring police and dog experts together to legally define the characteristics of the American Bully XL, which is not recognized as a breed by groups such as the Kennel Club in the UK or the American Kennel Club in the US. ., are organizations of breeders dedicated to the creation, registration, exhibition and promotion of dog breeds.
“This is not currently a legally defined species, so this important first step needs to happen quickly,” Sunak said in a video statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “We will ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year.”
The government is under pressure to act on the issue after an 11-year-old girl was attacked and seriously injured by an American bully in Birmingham, England last Saturday (9).
These concerns were deepened on Thursday (14) after one person was killed in an attack that may have involved dogs of this type. “American Bully XL dogs are dangerous to our communities, especially our children,” Sunak said. “I share with the country the horror of the recent videos we have all seen.”
Four dog breeds are currently banned in the UK: the Pit Bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Toco Argentino and the Brazilian Fila. Some activists have called on the government to delist the American Bully XL, originally bred from the American Pit Bull Terrier, because they believe dangerous traits have been introduced into the animal.
The XL Bully is not recognized as a breed by the UK Kennel Club, which argues that neither type of dog is inherently dangerous. The organization says that breed-based bans do not address the most important factors that contribute to attacks, particularly irresponsible dog owners training their dogs to be aggressive.
In the UK, police or local authorities have the power to seize a dog if the owner is suspected of keeping a banned breed without special permission from the court – even if it is not acting dangerously. An expert evaluates whether the dog poses a danger. In some cases, the dog is killed.
Sometimes it is returned to its owner, who must agree to follow strict rules, including spaying, neutering and microchipping the animal at all times in public.
Possession of a dangerous dog in the UK is punishable by up to six months in prison. If the dog injures someone, the owner can be jailed for up to five years; If a dog kills a person, the sentence can be up to 14 years.
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