Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Friday that American XL bully dogs would be banned in Britain by the end of the year. Sunak said he “shares the nation’s horror” regarding a series of dog attacks in recent weeks.
British animal welfare charities, including the RSPCA, said banning specific dog breeds is not the solution. In a joint statement, 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.”
“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.
He said a man was killed in central England in an attack involving a suspected American XL bully dog. A man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, police said.
Campaign group Bully Watch said American XL bully dogs were bred from American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire terriers and first appeared in the UK “around 2014 or 2015”.
Sunak has asked the police and experts to define American XL bully dogs, a first step he said before he hopes they can be banned by the end of the year.
Four other dog breeds are banned in the UK: the Dogo Argentino, the Pit bull terrier, the Japanese tosa, and the Fila Brasileiro.