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UK will ban American XL Bully dogs after series of recent attacks

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.’’


File photo of Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Britain Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described American XL Bully dogs as a “danger to our communities” and announced plans to ban them following a public outcry after a series of recent attacks. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

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. 


Bulldog on a leash

Mississippi State Bulldogs mascot roams the sidelines during a game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns in the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 31, 2019. American XL Bully dogs will soon be banned in the United Kingdom. (John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

XL bully dog drinking from a cup

An XL Bully dog, called Daisy, drinks from a portable bottle on June 10, 2023, in Southend, England. The government of the United Kingdom is considering banning American XL Bully dogs following an attack that injured an 11-year-old girl. (John Keeble/Getty Images)

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. 

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