A BAN on American bully dogs has been planned after a shocking spike in abuse, with 350 attacks in less than a year.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman announced she wanted to ban the breed after a series of gruesome incidents, this time injuring an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham.
Campaigners say XL bully dogs are dangerously out of control and should be stopped from entering the UK or being bred here.
Still, animal rights groups have pushed back against the idea of banning entire breeds, saying it could lead to more dogs being unfairly euthanized.
Bully dogs have been linked to nine deaths since 2021, including three children.
Could American XL Bully Dogs Be Banned?
Ms Braverman shared video footage of the Birmingham attack on X/Twitter and vowed to take action against race.
She called XL beat dogs “a clear and deadly danger to our communities, particularly children.”
She added: “It can’t go on like this. I have commissioned an urgent council for a ban.”
She shared the social media clip from September 9 which shows the XL thug abusing the girl before abusing a man in Bordesley Green in Birmingham.
The animal was seen biting the girl on the arm before being briefly restrained by a man in a green tank top, but escaping and attacking another man.
West Midlands Police said: “The dog was initially taken to a local vet for a check-up before being moved to secure kennels.”
“Officers spoke to the owner of the dog.”
XL Bullys are bred from a mix of dogs, primarily the American pit bull terrier, which was banned here in 1991.
Underground breeders were able to legally mix pit bulls with other dogs. A Sun on Sunday investigation earlier this year found that dogs were being sold online for up to £2,500.
Ms Braverman’s proposed ban was supported by Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer.
He told LBC radio he was “shocked” when he saw the clip from Birmingham.
He said: “I think there are good reasons for banning this breed of dog.”
“I want to see what the government will propose – I hope we can do this quickly and constructively.”
“I don’t think anyone looking at the footage can just sit back and say nothing needs to change – there clearly needs to be a change.”
How many XL Bully Dog attacks have there been?
Campaign group Bully Watch UK has documented 351 dog attacks this year alone.
They say that 43 percent of all abuse is caused by big bullies and that overall there has been a 435 percent increase in dog attacks since 2013.
They also recorded 14 deaths from animal attacks in 2021 – 11 confirmed and three more suspected.
Doug Smith, who leads the group, told The Sun a ban on the breed was long overdue – but he was skeptical it would be effectively enforced.
He said: “We welcome discussion of a ban, but the truth is it needs to happen quickly – we are counting down until someone else is killed.”
“Every day that goes by we see more attacks and we have already had far too many.”
“The Birmingham attack captured on video was very powerful, but there are many more like this happening all the time.”
“The havoc these dogs can cause is incredible and due to the muscles and strength of these dogs it sometimes takes up to five or eight men to contain them.”
He said too many “irresponsible” owners were buying the breed, mistakenly viewing it as “very loyal” and “people-centered.”
He added: “The damage they cause is much greater than other types of dogs.”
“These dogs are bad news and the government needs to get its act together and not just ban them but actually enforce them instead of just putting a sticking plaster on them.”
“Even a delay of a few months could be catastrophic.”
There were 22,000 dog attacks resulting in injuries in England and Wales last year, a rise of a third since 16,000 in 2018.
British killed by dogs
American bullies, including the XL breed, are responsible for 73 percent of dog-related deaths in the UK since last year.
This despite the fact that they only make up a tiny proportion of the entire dog population.
According to Bully Watch UK, Brits are 270 times more likely to be killed by American bullies than by any other race.
Ten-year-old Jack Lis was killed by an eight-stone American bully named Beast in Caerphilly, South Wales, in November 2021.
Beast owner Brandon Hayden, then 19, was sentenced to four years in prison in June last year.
And Amy Salter, then 29, was sentenced to three years in prison after the duo pleaded guilty to being responsible for the runaway dog.
In May this year a 37-year-old father, Jonathan Hogg, was beaten to death by an American bully XL in Leigh, Greater Manchester.
That same month, Natasha Johnson, 28, was killed by dogs while walking with a pack – reportedly including her own American bully XL – in Caterham in Surrey.
These tragedies come a month after an inquest heard that 34-year-old Ian Symes was killed in Fareham, Hampshire, with “catastrophic” neck injuries when he was hit by a 52kg XL Bully dog bought on Snapchat , was mistreated.
And mum Katie Deere last week told how she sacrificed her own arm to save her daughter from an XL bully in Askern, South Yorkshire.
Still, opponents say a breed-specific ban would be the wrong approach.
The Dog Control Coalition opposes such a ban and also wants the government to review the Dangerous Dogs Act, introduced 32 years ago.
This means that four breeds are already banned: Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentinos and Fila Brasileiros.
The coalition is a campaign alliance that includes groups such as the RSPCA, the British Veterinary Association and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
They say adding more dog breeds to the “banned” list will only lead to more dogs being killed based solely on their appearance, without addressing the “root causes” of aggressive and dangerous behavior.
A spokesman called the Birmingham attack “a deeply disturbing incident” and said his thoughts were “with everyone involved.”
They said: “We are all incredibly concerned about the increasing number of dog bites and everyone’s top priority is to protect the public.”
However, they said the “worrying rise” in dog bites and deaths showed that the dangerous dogs law “simply isn’t working”.
They continued: “Unfortunately, the increasing popularity of American XL Bullies has turned them into valuable commodities, leading to irresponsible breeding, raising and ownership, all of which can contribute to an increased likelihood of aggression in dogs, regardless of breed. “
“All leading animal welfare organizations believe that the solution is not to ban more animal species.
“Instead, the Government must focus on improving and enforcing current breeding and dog control regulations, as well as promoting responsible dog ownership and training.”
And the Dogs Trust said it would prefer to see the current legislation “with a consolidated law that allows for early intervention with a focus on dog bite prevention”.
They added measures designed to deter and punish owners of dogs whose behavior was “dangerous”.
The charity said: “We will continue to seek reform of existing dog control laws until we are satisfied that any new measures are preventative, breed neutral and effective, ultimately protecting both dogs and people.”