Hundreds of American XL bully dog owners gathered in London on Saturday to protest against the government’s proposed ban on the breed.
Protesters held signs in Trafalgar Square saying “don’t bully our bullies”. Others said “stop bullying our best friends,”while many featured the slogan “bad owners not bad dogs”.
Demonstrators did not bring their XL bully dogs to the protest. Prior to the demonstration, activists were warned in a message that “police will antagonise and seize your dog”.
The protest comes as another XL Bully is being sought over an attack in a south London park.
A man in his 40s, who was bitten on his arm, was taken to hospital.
Police said the owner of the dog, believed to be an XL Bully, fled from the scene before they arrived.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Police were called by LAS at 6.07pm on Friday, September 22 to Pasley Park, Walworth after a man, aged in his 40s, was bitten by a dog.
"He was taken to hospital with injuries to his arm.
"The owner of the dog left the scene with the dog prior to police arrival.
"The dog is believed to be a grey-coloured XL Bully. There have been no arrests; enquiries are ongoing."
Ness Lyon, a writer and lawyer, witnessed the attack.
She wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Earlier this evening an XL bully jumped a fence and attacked a man in my local park. Partially witnessed by my son.
"Man was bitten badly in several places including his abdomen.
"Police and ambulance came, but it took an hour. Horrifying.
"The owner grabbed his dog and legged it."
The protest comes as Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced last week that XL bullies would be added to the UK’s list of prohibited breeds by the end of the year, following a series of attacks by the “dangerous” dogs
Owners of American XL bullies will not face a cull of their pets, but Downing Street said measures would be put in place to cover the “existing population” of the dogs. The ban is expected to come into place by the end of the year.
It is unclear as of yet what will happen to XL bully dogs when they are banned, with a Number 10 spokesperson saying “the details still need to be worked out.”