American XL Bully dogs will be banned in the UK after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak branded them a “danger to our communities” on Friday.
The move comes after a public outcry following a series of recent attacks, including one that seriously injured an 11-year-old girl.
Sunak asked government ministers to legally define the characteristics of the American XL Bully with the help of police and dog experts. The breed is not recognized by groups such as the Kennel Club in Britain or the American Kennel Club in the United States.
“It is not currently a legally defined breed, so this vital first step must be taken quickly,” Sunak said in a video statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. and new laws will come into effect by the end of the year.”
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A man was killed in an attack Thursday that may have involved an American XL Bully.
“The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, especially our children,” Sunak said. “I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we have all seen.”
Pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasileiros are currently banned in the UK, according to the Associated Press.
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The American XL Bully was originally bred from the American Pit Bull Terrier. Some campaigners have called for the dog type to be added to the banned list because they believe dangerous traits have been bred into the animals.
The UK Kennel Club also does not recognize the breed, but has argued that no breed is inherently dangerous. The agency does not believe that breed-specific bans address the most significant contributors to attacks, primarily irresponsible dog owners who train their dogs to be aggressive.
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Bully breeds get their names from their origins used in blood sports such as bull baiting. Dogs are muscular in stature and have heavier bone structures than pit bulls.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.