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XL bully dog ban: 6 developments in the past 24 hours

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has said the dogs will be banned by the end of the year in response to a series of attacks.

Front close up view of an American XL bully dog
American XL bully dogs are set to be banned by the end of the year. (PA)

What's happening? The government is set to reveal details of a planned ban on American XL bully dogs.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak said the dogs will be banned by the end of the year in response to a series of attacks.

A man died after being attacked on Thursday by two dogs – suspected to be bully XLs – in Staffordshire.

The decision to ban the dogs was quickly backed by campaign groups but other organisations – including the RSPCA and the Kennel Club – said outlawing the animals would not stop attacks.

Questions also remain about how exactly a ban will be implemented and enforced, with concerns about the challenge of defining the dog breed given its cross-bred nature.

It comes amid questions over whether an “amnesty period” could be introduced for owners, with suggestions this would see an outright ban take effect in 2025.

Yahoo News rounds up some of the key developments from the XL bully dog ban announcement:

Existing American XL bully dogs in UK will not face cull, says chief vet

Big american bully dog
There will be an amnesty before a ban. (Getty)

UK chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss has reassured American XL bully dog owners there will be an amnesty before a ban is issued.

This would mean existing dogs were not culled and owners would instead be required to register the pets and use a muzzle and leash when in public, she told BBC Radio 4.

She said: “There’s also a huge amount of work ongoing already, about responsible breeding, responsible ownership and education of people who keep dogs that have the potential to be dangerous.”

American XL bully dogs ban backed by architect of Dangerous Dogs Act

Kenneth Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking, on College Green, Westminster, 24th May 2019,....
The Baron Baker of Dorking has backed the ban. (PA)

Lord Baker, the architect of the Act during the Sir John Major era, said American XL bully dogs should be “neutered or destroyed” once the ban has come into force, with any permitted to live being “muzzled for the entire time”.

Speaking to LBC, the Tory peer said: “It should be done almost immediately because this is a very dangerous breed and it has actually killed children and attacked other people, and I do not accept the views of the Kennel Club and the RSPCA that breeds should not be banned.

“This dog is, in fact, bred in order to fight and to be aggressive. It has already done enough damage and the Prime Minister is absolutely right to add it.”

Read more: American XL bully dogs ban backed by architect of Dangerous Dogs Act (PA)

Mother of four-year-old attacked by XL bully torn on plans to ban breed

Amy Hobson, whose four-year-old daughter Luna was bitten by an XL bully, said she was undecided over the potential ban.

The 32-year-old told BBC Breakfast: “I do think they should ban them, but I also don’t think they should... there is a small majority of people out there that do look after their XL bullies.

“On the other hand, you’ve got a wide variety of people that just don’t care.”

Ministers set to work out American XL bully dogs ban after PM pledge

Ministers will soon have to set out details of the prime minister’s planned ban on American XL bully dogs.

Sunak said he had ordered ministers to bring together police and experts to define the breed of dog behind these attacks so they can be outlawed.

But questions still need to be answered about how a ban will be implemented and enforced, with concerns about the challenge of defining the dog breed given its cross-bred nature.

Read more: Ministers set to work out American XL bully dogs ban after PM pledge (PA)

‘Get on with it’: Starmer backs calls for ban on American XL bully dogs

MONTREAL, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 15:  UK Labour Leader Keir Starmer speaks to the BBC at the Global Progress Action Summit on September 15, 2023 in Montreal, Canada. The UK Labour Leader and Shadow Foreign Minister are attending the Global Progress Action Summit to discuss threats to democracy and human rights with other progressive world leaders and former leaders. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Sir Keir Starmer has told the government to get on with the ban. (Getty Images)

Labour, while supportive of the ban, criticised the prime minister for “dithering” over bringing in restrictions on their ownership.

Sir Keir Starmer told broadcasters: “There has been a clear case for banning them for a long time.

"What I say to the government is good, get on with it, and the sooner we can do this the better.”

Read more: ‘Get on with it’: Keir Starmer backs calls for ban on American XL bully dogs (Independent)

What are American bully XL dogs – and why could the government face a tough time banning them?

Front close up view of an XL bully dog
XL bully dogs are set to be outlawed. (PA)

Adding American bully XL dogs to the banned list is the responsibility of environment secretary Therese Coffey's department.

But it is understood there are concerns over the feasibility of adding the American bully as the dog is not recognised as a specific breed by the Kennel Club.

It could be hard to define and a ban could inadvertently outlaw a range of other dogs.

Read more: What are American bully XL dogs – and why could the government face a tough time banning them? (Independent)

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