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The American “XL Bully” dog breed is facing a potential ban following a recent incident in Birmingham, where an uncontrollable pet went on a rampage.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman has declared her intent to seek “urgent guidance” on prohibiting this breed in light of the “shocking” attack on an 11-year-old girl during the incident.
West Midlands Police initiated an investigation following an attack in the Bordesley Green area on Saturday, which left the young girl and two men who came to her aid injured.
“This is appalling. The American XL Bully is a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly to children,” Ms Braverman wrote on social media. “We can’t go on like this. I have commissioned urgent advice on banning them.”
Mrs. Braverman and Policing Minister Chris Philp initiated this advisory process last week, prompted by data indicating that the XL Bully breed had been implicated in the majority of fatal dog attacks in the UK since 2021.
In that year, two out of every four such attacks involved the XL Bulldog, a figure that increased to six out of every ten in 2022.
Experts in the field of animal welfare express concerns that without swift measures to prevent the introduction of genetically engineered American crossbreeds to Britain, there may be a significant rise in fatalities.
While Mrs. Braverman has requested this advice, the responsibility of adding the breed to the banned list falls under the purview of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The recent incident in Birmingham occurred on a Saturday afternoon while the dog’s owner was walking it. A video captured from the top deck of a bus, circulating online, captured the chaotic scene as the dog went on a rampage.
During the attack, the little girl sustained injuries to her arms from the dog. A courageous man managed to intervene and pull the dog away from her. Seeking safety, the girl sought refuge in a nearby shop, but the XL Bully managed to break free.
The dog then pursued another man, who was wearing a white T-shirt and shorts. This chase led to a petrol station forecourt where the man was subsequently attacked by the dog. Thankfully, the dog was ultimately stopped after being struck.
West Midlands Police have reported that the dog involved in the incident has been placed in secure kennels while the investigation proceeds, and the owner has been interviewed by law enforcement.
Social media footage provides disturbing glimpses of these dogs chasing down victims, with one video from London capturing a harrowing moment where one of these dogs tackled a screaming woman to the ground, inflicting serious injuries.
Recently, it came to light that two Bully XL dogs were responsible for a brutal attack on 22 pregnant sheep and the injury of 48 others in Wales. This attack prompted a farmer to take the drastic measure of shooting both dogs.
Despite being banned in the UK for nearly 200 years, authorities have expressed concerns about the resurgence of dog fighting in Britain, with these breeds being the preferred choice. The muscular American Bully XL can exhibit extreme aggression due to a history of violent training and extensive inbreeding.
Unregulated breeders are clandestinely producing massive “mutant crossbreeds” by mating prohibited pitbulls with legally allowed mastiffs and bulldogs, exploiting loopholes in dangerous dogs laws to avoid detection.
Saturday’s assault represents the most recent occurrence in a string of similar incidents that seem to surge during hot weather. As temperatures rise, so do the number of reports concerning dogs attacking individuals. Tragically, a woman lost her life due to a mauling by Rottweilers, and several children have sustained permanent scarring from such encounters.
Emma Chandley, a practicing veterinarian associated with Perfect Pet Insurance, has noted that high temperatures during the summer can potentially lower the thresholds for aggression in both humans and animals.
She said: “Dogs are more likely to attack and bite in the warmer summer months. As with humans, tensions tend to rise as the temperature does.
“From my experience, dogs are more likely to bite on hotter days and when the air pollution is higher,” she added.