Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, has vowed to seek urgent counsel on the prohibition of the so-called lethal ‘American Bully XL’ dogs. This move comes in the wake of a horrific incident where an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham fell victim to an unprovoked attack by such a dog. The alarming footage of this assault has since been circulating on social media.
Braverman was quick to condemn the horrifying incident and stress the imminent danger this breed poses, stating: “The American XL Bully is a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly to children.” In response, she has initiated immediate action to evaluate the possibility of a ban on these dogs.
The scene of the incident, Bordesley Green, is currently under investigation by the West Midlands Police. The dog involved in the attack was subsequently directed to a local veterinary clinic for check-ups before being securely contained in kennels pending further investigation. The dog’s owner has also been contacted by local law enforcement authorities.
The former Justice Secretary, Sir Robert Buckland, has also expressed deep concern about the increasing number of attacks involving XL Bully dogs. Echoing the sentiments of Braverman, he too calls for governmental intervention and the banning of this breed.
At present, the American Bully XL can be legally owned and bred as there are no existing legal restrictions attached. An advisor, however, has indicated that advice regarding the potential to ban the breed was sought last week.
The process of adding a breed to a prohibited list falls under the remit of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). Breeds found on the Defra’s banned list cannot be owned, bred, or sold. Some, however, question the practicality of including the American XL Bully on the list. The breed has yet to be recognised by the UK Kennel Club, the UK’s most prominent organization regarding dog health, welfare, and training.
Providing his input, a spokesperson for Defra stated that dog attacks and anti-social behaviour are subjects treated with utmost seriousness. Ensuring proper law enforcement is a priority, ranging from mandatory Community Protection Notices for dog owners to potential prison sentences for serious offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act.