UK Ban On American XL Bully Dogs Announced By Sunak

bulldog in a sit

British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has announced that so-called XL Bully Dog is to be banned in the UK from the end of the year following a highly publicised spate of attacks culminating in the death of 52 year-old Ian Price on Friday

Speaking in a video posted to Social Media, Sunak said that the dog, “Is a danger to our communities, particularly our children.” About the recent attacks, he went on to say, “It’s a pattern of behaviour and it can not go on.” Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, announced that she expected the police to “Use all available powers to protect the public from these beasts.”

Campaigners for the ban claim that the dog is responsible for at least 14 human deaths since 2021. According to campaign group, Bully Watch, the dog was first seen in the UK around 2014 and gained popularity during the COVID pandemic.

There has been a 34 per cent increase in dog attacks in recent years with figures rising from 16,394 in 2018 to 21,918 in 2022. Out of the attacks in 2022, ten proved to be fatal and the American XL Bully is reckoned to be responsible for six of those.

Though, no doubt, a populist move for a government beleaguered with bad news and failures on multiple fronts in the last year, the announcement of the ban has drawn much criticism from canine experts and animal charities including the RSPCA and British Veterinary Association.

The Dog Control Coalition, which comprises Battersea Dogs Home, Blue Cross, British Veterinary Association, Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club, RSPCA, Scottish SPCA and Hope Rescue released a statement earlier in the month stating, “The increased popularity of American XL bullies has made them valuable commodities, resulting in irresponsible breeding, rearing and ownership.”

They went on to say, “However, the solution to the concerning number of dog bite incidents and fatalities is not to ban this or any other breed of dog because a ban would not effectively protect the public.” and that, “the Government needs to focus on the improvement and enforcement of current breeding and dog control regulations, and on promoting responsible dog ownership and training.”

The Coalition calls for ‘Deed not breed’ legislation and has been encouraging the public to email their MPs to overhaul the current Dangerous Dogs Act.

Experts point out that a major flaw with Sunak’s plan to ban the breed is that the American XL Bully is, in fact, not a specific breed. Instead it is a mixture of several different large Bulldog and Terrier style dogs, such as American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Carne Corso and other Mastiff types. The resulting mix can grow up to 80 kilos in weight. The fear is that, since it is not a specific breed, there is a risk of many innocent dogs being put to sleep simply based on appearance.

A leading veterinarian, Dave Martin, spoke to The Independent in the UK about the proposed ban, saying “We tried that with pit bulls and it didn’t work at all. We need to be looking at a multifaceted approach to reducing these attacks.”

It is certainly the case that each generation experiences a media frenzy around dog attacks with the epithet ‘devil dog’ applied by the UK red tops to breeds such as the Rottweiler and Pitbull down the years. The common factor is that, no matter what the breed or mix of breed, the owner has irresponsibly raised and trained it to be a ‘status dog’.

With its new Animal Welfare Act, Spain has rightly recognised that the problem is not the dog, but the owner. Until the UK government realise this too, the country and its responsible dog owners are likely to suffer at the hands of poorly written and ineffective legislation. Today the American XL Bully; tomorrow the next breed that the irresponsible section of dog-owning society considers to be a status.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Emma Mitchell

Emma landed in journalism after nearly 30 years as an executive in the Internet industry. She lives in Bédar and her interests include raising one eyebrow, reckless thinking and talking to people randomly. If you have a great human interest story you can contact her on


    • Upset Resident

      17 September 2023 • 14:32

      “With its new Animal Welfare Act, Spain has rightly recognised that the problem is not the dog, but the owner.”

      The Spanish law is an extinction of mongrels. It is war on crossbed dogs and this disgusting (as yet unenforceable law) needs some serious revision.

    Comments are closed.