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The United Kingdom plans to ban American Bully XL dogs in the country, following a series of incidents involving the dog breed that prompted Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to label them as “a danger to our communities,” CBS News reported.
Last week, Sunak announced his intention to ban the breed under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, saying that officials and dog specialists are working “to firstly define the breed of dogs behind these attacks.”
The prime minister’s comments came a day after a man died from injuries he sustained in an alleged attack by two American Bully XL dogs. A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after originally being detained on suspicion of having dogs dangerously out of control.
The man’s death followed another incident in England where the breed seriously injured an 11-year-old girl and two men seeking to protect her from the dog.
The UK and US Kennel Clubs do not recognize the dog as a unique breed, even though other organizations do. American Bully XL dogs – also known as XL Bully – were originally bred from the American Pitbull Terrier and strongly resemble that breed, but are larger.
If they are banned, they would be the fifth breed to be added to the Dangerous Dogs Act list, which currently comprises of the Pitbull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino, and the Fila Brasileiro.
Amid the controversy, the UK Kennel Club noted that no dog breeds are inherently dangerous and cautioned that such bans sometimes ignore the irresponsible dog owners who train their pets to be aggressive.
In a 2019 report, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe found that there was neither any scientific nor statistical evidence to suggest breed-specific bans reduce either the frequency or severity of injuries to people.