American XL Bully dogs will be banned in the United Kingdom after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak referred to them as a “danger to our communities” Friday.
The move comes after a public outcry following a series of recent attacks, including one that seriously injured an 11-year-old girl.
Sunak has asked government ministers to legally define the characteristics of the American XL Bully with the assistance of police and canine experts. The breed is not recognized by groups such as the Kennel Club in Britain or the American Kennel Club in the United States.
“It is not currently a breed defined in law, so this vital first step must happen fast,’’ Sunak said in a video statement posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. “We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act, and new laws will be in place by the end of the year.’’
A man was killed in an attack Thursday that may have involved an American XL Bully.
“The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children,’’ Sunak said. “I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we’ve all seen.’’
Pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasileiros are currently banned in the United Kingdom, according to The Associated Press.
The American XL Bully was originally bred from the American pit bull terrier. Some campaigners have called for the type of dog to be added to the banned list, because they believe dangerous characteristics have been bred into the animals.
The U.K. Kennel Club also does not recognize the breed but has argued that no breed is inherently dangerous. The organization does not believe that breed-specific bans address the most important factors contributing to attacks, primarily irresponsible dog owners who train their dogs to be aggressive.
Bully breeds’ names come from their origin used in blood sports, such as bull baiting. The dogs are muscular in stature and have heavier bone structures than pit bulls.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.