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Deadly dogs - the case for banning XL Bullies The Irish Times06:24 14-Jun-24
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14 Jun 16:57

About our American Bully XL news

Latest news on the American Bully XL, a breed of dog that is closely related to the pitbull terrier and has been crossbred with other breeds such as English bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogge and American bulldogs. They are not recognised by the main dog associations in the UK, but they got recognition from the US United Kennel Club in 2013.

The American Bully XL breed has been involved in a number of attacks on humans and other animals in the UK, especially in 2022 and 2023. According to Bully Watch, a group set up by a group of dog owners to monitor the breed, XL’s were responsible for 45 per cent of dog attacks on human and other dogs this year. Some of the attacks have been fatal, such as the one that killed 10-year-old Frankie MacRitchie in Cornwall in 2022.

Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, has called for a ban on the breed, saying they present a “clear and lethal danger”, particularly to children. She has commissioned “urgent advice” on outlawing the dogs after she highlighted the “appalling” attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham that also injured two men on 9 September 2023.

However, adding dogs to the banned list is the responsibility of environment secretary Therese Coffey’s department and there are reportedly concerns over the feasibility of adding the American bully. Because the breed is not recognised by the Kennel Club it could be hard to define and a ban could inadvertently outlaw a range of other dogs, some fear.

Some owners and breeders of the American Bully XL have defended the dogs, saying they are not dangerous if they are raised and trained properly. They claim that the dogs are misunderstood, mistreated, and malpractised by some irresponsible owners who use them for fighting or intimidation. They also argue that banning breeds does not solve the problem of dog attacks, but rather education and enforcement of existing laws are needed.

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