Police shoot ‘dangerously out of control’ XL bully after woman injured

The XL bully ban came into effect on February 1 2024
-Credit: (Image: 2024 Getty Images)

An XL bully dog has been shot dead by police after it attacked a woman. Officers responding to the incident on Friday (June 28) said the dog was "dangerously out-of-control".

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said officers received reports of a dog attacking people on Gladstone Road, Eccles, at about 9pm on Friday. Armed officers shot the animal at the scene after police and members of the public failed to “regain control” of it, the force said.

Footage shared on social media appears to show officers firing at the dog several times as it runs through a residential street. A man can be heard repeatedly shouting “please don’t kill my dog” in the video.

The female victim is still receiving treatment for her injuries and two men were later arrested and detained after confronting officers, GMP said. One man, whose car was hit by a bullet, told the BBC he thought the police response was “very excessive”.

He said: “Any one of those shots could have ricocheted into a house. Some of the neighbours and myself had our cars damaged [and] my sister was in the house and she was very distressed.”

The man said he had previously seen the dog in the street and it had not seemed “overly aggressive” but was “just running around willy nilly.

“The police didn’t seem to be making any attempt to catch it – there wasn’t even a dog catcher.”

GMP said inquiries into who owned the dog were ongoing.

It said in a statement on Friday: “Initially, both local officers and the public were unable to regain control of the dog. Specialised officers were deployed and tried to safely secure the XL bully but were unsuccessful.

“This meant unfortunately due to the risk and harm it was causing as a banned breed it was destroyed at the scene as the last possible option. We understand the concern this incident will raise within the community but our officers have a duty to act in challenging situations on a regular basis with the aim of keeping everyone safe.”

From February 1, it became a criminal offence to own the XL bully breed in England and Wales without an exemption certificate. Anyone who owns one of the dogs must have had the animal neutered, have it microchipped and keep it muzzled and on a lead in public, among other restrictions.

The Government move to ban XL bullies followed a series of attacks. According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 16 deaths due to dog attacks in 2023, a sharp rise from preceding years where the number had been in single figures.