Concerns Raised Over American Bully XL Dogs Ban
The recent announcement by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to ban American Bully XL dogs has sparked concerns over the broader issue of dog-related problems in the UK.
This move follows a series of incidents, including a fatal attack in Staffordshire and an attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham, prompting the government to take action.
Defining the Breed: A Challenging Task
Defining the American Bully XL breed has proven to be a challenging task for the government. Dog behaviorist Stan Rawlinson, who has extensive experience in this field, believes that categorizing these dogs is more complex than expected.
He emphasizes that American Bully XL dogs aren’t officially recognized as a breed, making it difficult to track and regulate them effectively.
The Mutant Breed: A Complex Origin
Rawlinson points out that XL Bullys are typically created by crossbreeding multiple dogs, with the American pitbull terrier being a primary component.
However, the American pitbull terrier has been banned in the UK since 1991.
To circumvent the law, underground breeders have mixed pitbulls with other breeds like American bulldogs, old English bulldogs, and mastiffs, resulting in a new breed that has evaded regulation.
The Potential for More Issues
Experts like Rawlinson fear that banning XL Bullys may only scratch the surface of the UK’s dog-related problems.
They warn that if immediate measures are not taken to address the influx of these generically engineered dogs into the country, more incidents involving harm to people and pets may occur.
Campaigners Push for a Ban
Campaigners have been advocating for a ban on XL Bullys, citing their involvement in a growing number of attacks on both humans and other animals.
Official data from the Metropolitan Police shows that XL Bullys have become the most seized breed in London, surpassing other breeds like German shepherds and pitbulls.
Rising Fatal Dog Attacks
In recent years, the UK has witnessed a rise in fatal dog attacks. Downing Street, however, denies any delay in addressing the issue, asserting that the government has been actively working on policy measures to tackle the problem.
Ban Under the Dangerous Dogs Act
The government has announced that the ban on XL Bullys will be implemented under the Dangerous Dogs Act, with new laws set to be in place by the end of the year.
The Complexities of the Dangerous Dogs Act
The Dangerous Dogs Act, introduced in 1991, bans or restricts certain types of dogs and makes it illegal to allow a dog of any breed to be dangerously out of control.
It specifically bans breeds like American pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, Dogo Argentinos, and Fila Brasileiros, as well as their crossbreeds, depending on physical characteristics.
Penalties for Dog Attacks
The act imposes penalties for dog attacks, including fines and imprisonment, and allows authorities to take action against dangerous dogs.
However, there is ongoing debate and controversy surrounding the effectiveness and fairness of the act in addressing the issue of dangerous dogs in society.
Continued Concerns and Challenges
While the government takes steps to address the issue of XL Bullys, concerns persist about the broader problem of dog attacks and the effectiveness of legislation like the Dangerous Dogs Act in preventing such incidents.
The ongoing debate underscores the complexities of regulating dog breeds and protecting public safety.