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Policing minister says American Bully XL ban 'an option' as breed's popularity fuels massive rise in dog attacks

23 July 2023, 19:23 | Updated: 23 July 2023, 19:25

Policing Minister says that a complete ban on XL Bullies is an 'option'

By Chay Quinn

A ban on the notorious American Bully XL dog breed is "an option" as ministers promise to get tough on the breed after a rise in dog attacks in recent months.

During a phone-in on LBC, the policing minister Chris Philp was questioned on the spate of attacks attributed to the niche breed.

He retorted: "It is just not acceptable to have seven people killed in the last year by this one dog. Somewhere between a quarter and a half of all dogs that police have had to seize [are American Bully XLs].

Read More: Police seize 15 'American Bully XL dogs' and arrest woman after father, 37, mauled to death in Leigh

Read More: 17 dogs seized after girl mauled in shocking attack in Manchester, with owner 'breeding XL bully dogs in caravan'

"The problem has arisen in the past few years I think, it's quite a recent thing."

A rise in the popularity of American XL Bully dogs is being blame for a rise in dog attacks across Britain
A rise in the popularity of American XL Bully dogs is being blame for a rise in dog attacks across Britain. Picture: Alamy

LBC's Ben Kentish then pressed the minister on why the breed has not been added to the Banned Breeds List.

Ben posited: "Given what you are saying minister, why not simply add it to that banned dogs list. It sounds like the evidence is there in front of you."

Mr Philp replied: "We are gathering the evidence at the moment and looking at what we need to do. We definitely need to do more about this. there is no question about that. This is top of the to-do list."

On a ban of the large breed, Mr Philp added: "That is one of the ways of dealing with this, there are other ways of dealing with it as well. I don't want to make up policy off the cuff."

Police in England and Wales are being forced to destroy at least two dogs a day after seizing them following savage attacks.

Latest data from 30 of the 44 forces, obtained by LBC, shows officers destroyed 769 out-of-control dogs who attacked people, including children, in the year to May 2023.

During a phone-in on LBC, the policing minister Chris Philp was questioned on the spate of attacks attributed to the niche breed.
During a phone-in on LBC, the policing minister Chris Philp was questioned on the spate of attacks attributed to the niche breed. Picture: Global

That has risen by a third on the previous year, when police seized and destroyed 506 dogs that had set upon human beings.

Separately, the Metropolitan Police seized 1159 dangerous dogs in London in 2022 – a rise of 32% on the previous year.

Dangerous dog incidents have soared by more than 50% in the last five years, according to South Yorkshire Police, who’ve expressed concerns about the number of cases involving the American XL Bully breed.

The force said the breed accounted for 25% of all dogs it seized in January last year.

Assistant Chief Constable Dan Thorpe said: "A woman in South Yorkshire bought two XL Bully dogs, believing them to be gentle giants. Those dogs turned on her in her home and caused fatal injuries".

A spokesperson for the Dogs Trust said research had shown that "no breed of dog is more likely to be aggressive than another".

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