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09 Nov

UK Announces Ban on American XL Bully Dogs

UK: In the wake of a series of unprovoked attacks on members of the public, the American XL Bully dog breed is set to be banned in the UK. The prospect of a potential ban was discussed earlier in September, with the government confirming the ban on November 2, 2023, and adding the breed to the list of prohibited canines under the provisions of the Dangerous Dog Act.

From December 31 onwards, advertising, selling, re-homing, trading, abandoning, or breeding American XL bully dogs in the UK and Wales will be illegal. From February 1 onwards, it will be illegal to own the breed outright, with owners facing criminal charges and a fine if their pet isn’t on an exemption list. Owners must keep their bullies leashed and always muzzled when in public and must comply with microchipping and spaying procedures.

The British PM Rishi Sunak called the breed "a danger to our communities" back in September when an elderly English man suffered fatal injuries after being attacked by two XL bullies. The incident wasn't an isolated one either; an 11-year-old girl was attacked in public, a man was attacked fatally by his friend's dog, and a couple who admitted their XL bully had fatally attacked a ten-year-old child are some of the instances that caused outrage with regards to the breed and the danger it poses to members of the public.

Several American XL bully owners have protested the ban and a congregation of them marched through London in September with various signs and cards as part of the protest, with no dogs being present at the protests. The breed itself is a point of contention, as it is not recognized by the UK Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club. The UK kennel club has maintained that no dog breed is inherently dangerous, and that breed-specific bans imply that the issue is with poor ownership and training methods rather than the dog itself.

American XL bully dogs were originally bred from the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is also a banned breed in the UK. XL bullies now join the list of banned dog breeds in the UK alongside Pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasileiros.

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