- By Matt Murphy & Jennifer Clarke
- BBC news
The American XL bully dog breed is being banned in England and Wales following a number of attacks involving the breed.
These dogs must be leashed and muzzled in public and can no longer be bred or sold.
From February 1, it will be illegal to own an XL, unless the owner is exempt.
What is an American bully?
This breed originates from America and is known for its strength.
According to the American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC), it is a cross between the American pit bull terrier – which has been banned in England and Wales – and other bull breeds.
ABKC identifies four variants:
However, although the American Kennel Club recognize the American bullyit is not considered a specific breed by the American Kennel Club or the Royal Kennel Club.
The UK campaign group Bully Watch said American bullies first appeared in Britain “around 2014 or 2015”, and that numbers have increased rapidly during the pandemic.
What is the American Bully XL?
XL, the largest, can:
- strong enough to overpower adults
- weighs up to nine stone (60kg)
- Reaches 20-23in (51-57cm) high at the shoulder
Women’s XL is just a little smaller.
Dogs usually live from 8 to 13 years.
The American Kennel Club says the breed “makes an excellent family dog” despite its strong appearance.
There are no official statistics on the number of XLs who bully Americans in the UK.
How does America’s XL bullying ban work?
Ownership of American XL bully dogs is being restricted in England and Wales, under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
There is no DNA test to determine XL. The ban applies to dogs with physical characteristics consistent with XL bullies, including mixed breeds.
It is against the law to sell, give away, abandon or breed XL. They must be led and silenced in public.
From February 1, it will be a criminal offense to own an XL bully without an exemption certificate.
Police may confiscate prohibited dogs. Owners face unlimited criminal records and fines.
Anyone who chooses not to keep their XL bully must take it to a registered veterinarian for euthanasia by January 31, 2024.
They can claim up to £200 in compensation.
The ban does not apply to Northern Ireland or Scotland – where animal shelters report more XL dogs being rehomed.
How can an owner apply for exemption from an American bully XL?
They will need insurance to neuter and microchip their dog and pay £92.40 per animal.
Exempt dogs must be kept in a safe place.
How dangerous is the American bully and how many attacks have there been?
In 2022, there were nearly 22,000 cases, up from more than 16,000 in 2018.
These statistics are not broken down by breed.
However, American bully XLs have been involved in several recent attacks.
NHS consultant Richard Baker told BBC News that the dogs’ strong jaws meant the injuries they inflicted were worse than other breeds, leading to broken bones, lacerations and damage. nerve.
“It was a severe wound or laceration,” he said. “Once they hold tight, they won’t let go.”
In some cases, XL has killed owners or bystanders, including:
Campaign group Bully Watch said the press had linked the American bully to 14 deaths since 2021. The BBC has not independently verified that figure.
Why do some charities oppose America’s XL bullying ban?
The Dog Control Alliance – which includes Battersea, Dogs Trust, the Kennel Club, the RSPCA and the British Veterinary Association – said breed-specific bans were ineffective and unfair to people Responsible owners and their dogs.
What other dogs are banned in the UK?
- American pit bull terrier
- Japanese tosa
- Dogo Argentinos
- Fila Brazileiro
It is against the law to own, sell or breed these dogs without an exemption.
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