Government Calls For American XL Bullys To Be Banned After Girl, 11, Mauled On Street During Rampage


WARNING: This story contains footage that some readers may find distressing

The government is considering banning American ‘XL Bully’ dogs with the home secretary declaring “we can’t go on like this” after an out-of-control pet went on a rampage in Birmingham over the weekend.

Three people, including an 11-year-old girl, were bitten by the controversial breed in Bordesley Green. Video of the incident has circulated on both TikTok and X (formerly Twitter), clocking up millions of views.

The video shows the girl being set upon before bystanders pull the dog off her. It then runs towards a petrol station where it attacks two men, leaving them with injuries to their shoulders and arms.

Larger versions of pitbull terriers, XL bullies are not accepted by the UK’s major canine organisations. They range in height from 33 to 50 cm and can weigh anything from 20 to 60 kg.

Suella Braverman called for the breed to be outlawed after hearing about the occurrence on the television and described the attack as “appalling.”

“The American XL Bully is a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly children,” she wrote on X.

“We can’t go on like this.”

Braverman said she has commissioned urgent advice on adding the dog to the list of banned breeds.

Currently, only the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro breeds are prohibited in the UK.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports that 10 persons, four of whom were children, were killed by dogs in the UK in 2022. The United Kingdom ranked fourth among the top five nations for the amount of human fatalities in a 2021 research of deadly dog attacks in Europe between 1995 and 2016. It resulted in 56 fatalities. First came Hungary, then France, then Romania., a group that wants to ban the breeding and selling of American bully XL dogs in the UK, claims 11 people have been killed by the breed since 2021. It further suggested there has been 351 documented attacks by large Bully breeds this year alone.

West Midlands Police said in a statement that the 11-year-old girl was bitten after she “ran past the dog as it was being walked” by its owner.
“Two men intervened but were bitten and left with injuries to their shoulders and arms. They were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries.
“The dog was initially taken to a local vet before being taken to secure kennels while the investigation continues. The owner of the dog has been spoken to by officers,” a police statement added.

Despite Braverman’s comments, banning the breed, is a matter for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), and is the responsibility of Environment Secretary Therese Coffey.

The PA news agency understands there are concerns over the feasibility of adding the American Bully to the list of banned breeds as the dog is not a recognised as a specific breed by the Kennel Club. So, it could be hard to define and inadvertently outlaw a range of other dogs.

A Defra spokesperson told the BBC: “We take dog attacks and anti-social behaviour very seriously and are making sure the full force of the law is being applied.

“This can range from lower-level Community Protection Notices – which require dog owners to take appropriate action to address behaviour – to more serious offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act, where people can be put in prison for up to 14 years, be disqualified from ownership or result in dangerous dogs being euthanised.”

A Dogs Trust spokesman has also said: “Dogs Trust wants to see the current dog control laws replaced with one consolidated law that allows for early intervention with a focus on the prevention of dog bite incidents and includes measures that deter and punish owners of dogs whose behaviour is dangerous.

“We will continue to look for reform in existing dog control laws until we are satisfied that any new measures are preventative, breed-neutral and effective, and ultimately protect both dogs and people alike.”