Britain plans to ban the American XL Bully dog breed by the end of the year following a recent fatal attack, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced on Friday.
“The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children. I share the nation’s horror at recent videos we’ve all seen,” Sunak said in a video statement shared to X, formerly known as Twitter. “Yesterday, we saw another suspected XL Bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality.”
It’s clear the American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities.
I’ve ordered urgent work to define and ban this breed so we can end these violent attacks and keep people safe. pic.twitter.com/Qlxwme2UPQ
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) September 15, 2023
According to the BBC, the XL Bully breed has been linked to at least two fatal attacks this year and six of the 10 fatal dog attacks in the U.K. last year.
Sunak said, “It’s a pattern of behavior and it cannot go on. While owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, I want to reassure people that we are urgently working on ways to stop these attacks and protect the public.”
While the breed is officially recognized in the U.S., it would need to be legally defined as a dog breed in the U.K. in order for their government to ban it under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The prime minister said he has already ordered this first step to happen.
Other breeds already banned in the U.K. are the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo argentino and fila brasileiro.
The American XL bully is an extension of the American pit bull terrier. The United Kennel Club describes their demeanor as gentle and friendly and the said the breed makes an “excellent family dog.”