What Is An American XL Bully & Why Is Rishi Sunak Banning This Dog Breed In UK?

What Is An American XL Bully & Why Is Rishi Sunak Banning This Dog Breed In UK?

British PM Rishi Sunak stated that that the recent attacks by American XL Bullies were not isolated incidents of badly trained dogs but they showed a pattern of behaviour.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, September 15, 2023, 08:19 PM IST
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British Prime Minister announced on Friday that his government would ban American XL Bully breed of dogs by the end of 2023. The announcement came after a recent spate of attacks by American XL Bullies, which in one case also resulted in the death of a man.

Labelling the breed as a "danger" to the community, Sunak said his government will take steps to keep people safe. He stated that the recent attacks by American XL Bullies were not isolated incidents of badly trained dogs but they showed a pattern of behaviour.

"The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children. I share the nation's horror at the recent videos we've all seen. Yesterday we saw another suspected XL Bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality. It's clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs. It's a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on," he said.

Sunak noted that since American XL Bully was not a breed defined in the British law, his government would make this happen "fast".

"Today I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks with a view to then outlawing it. It is not currently a breed defined in law, so this vital first step must happen fast. We will then ban the breed under the dangerous dogs and new laws will be in place by the end of the year. These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe," Rishi Sunak said.

What is American XL Bully?

Reported to have been originated in the US in the late 1980s, an American XL Bully is a type of dog breed that was a result of crossing the American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers. They were created to be fought with other dogs in the ring. In 2004, the American Bully Kennel Club and standardised and recognised it as a breed.

Known for their athletic build, American XL Bullies are comparatively larger and more muscular than the standard American Pit Bull Terrier. This dog breed is often bred for its size, strength and appearance, making them physically powerful. American XL Bullies have four variations – standard, pocket, classic and XL – and the XLs can weigh more than 60 kg. These dogs are powerful enough to take on a human.

American XL Bullies are also known to exhibit aggressive behaviour if not trained or socialised properly. According to US-based United Kennel Club's website, "Despite its powerful appearance, their demeanor is gentle and friendly. This breed makes an excellent family dog. The ideal American Bully possesses the athleticism to do well in performance events."

In the UK, the breed first appeared around 2014 or 2015, BBC News reported quoting Bully Watch, a group of London-based policy experts. Their numbers grew rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

American XL Bully owners react

Ahead of Sunak's announcement, the owners of American XL Bullies expressed disappointed on X (formerly Twitter) over the government's decision to ban the dog breed.

People posted videos about their American XL Bullies arguing that the dogs have been a lovable companion to them.

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