Suella Braverman, the UK’s Home Secretary, has made a compelling case for the prohibition of American XL Bully dogs, branding them a “clear and lethal” menace to society. This appeal for a ban follows a distressing incident captured on TikTok, where an American XL Bully dog attacked an “11-year-old girl and a man” in Birmingham.
The incident, which occurred in Bordesley Green, led to two men sustaining injuries to their shoulders and arms as they intervened to protect the young girl. West Midlands Police initiated an investigation into the matter, and the dog in question was temporarily placed in secure kennels.
Braverman took to social media to express her deep concern, tweeting, “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 call for advice was initiated last week, with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs assigned the responsibility of evaluating whether the American XL Bully should be included in the list of prohibited dog breeds in the United Kingdom.
The alarming incident has reignited debates about dog breeds, ownership, and public safety. Currently, the UK bans four specific breeds: “Pit bull terriers, Japanese tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro.”
Earlier this month, two XL Bully dogs were shot and killed in North Wales after attacking and killing 22 pregnant sheep. These events have prompted a growing chorus of voices, including Emma Whitfield, whose son was fatally mauled by an XL Bully in South Wales. Supporters of a ban, including Sir John Hayes, believe that these dogs are “bred to kill.”
The American Bully XL breed shares genetic traits with the banned pit bull terrier but isn’t subject to the same legal restrictions. Critics argue that their “hair-trigger response” and “desire to kill” make them a significant threat, especially when mishandled or trained aggressively.
The rise in popularity of American Bully XLs in the UK has coincided with an increase in serious and fatal dog attacks. These dogs have been involved in the majority of fatal dog attacks in the UK since 2021, prompting concerns about public safety.
As debates over the ban continue, the incident in Birmingham serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for regulation and control over dog breeds with aggressive tendencies. Public safety remains paramount in this ongoing discussion.