XL Bully ‘found tied up and set on fire’ ahead of ban

XL bully dogs will be banned from February following a series of attacks (PA Wire)
XL bully dogs will be banned from February following a series of attacks (PA Wire)

The death of an XL Bully which was found tied up and set on fire after having its ear cut off is being investigated by the RSPCA.

The dog is believed to have escaped its home in Carshalton when heavy winds blew down the garden fence.

Graphic images show the dog lying dead in an alleyway off Waltham Road with its front paws badly burned.

The grim discovery was made on 30 December, a day before a new law was passed in England and Wales bringing the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

RSPCA Inspector Harriet Daliday said the dog had a fractured skull, but said she was unsure if he was injured by a car or if he was attacked “deliberately”.

She added: “It is deeply concerning that the dog was found with his legs tied together and had been set on fire. The dog also had one of his ears cut off.

“We are appealing for anyone who has any information about this incident to contact us in complete confidence.”

American XL bullies now must be muzzled and kept on a lead in public. It’s now also illegal to breed, sell, advertise, gift, exchange, and abandon the dogs or let them stray.

It comes before a ban on the breed without an exemption certificate begins in February.

XL Bullies joined American pitbull terriers, Japanese tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasileiros on the list of banned breeds on the Dangerous Dogs Act.

The decision to outlaw ownership came after a rise in dog attacks. But many have said the breeds are not to blame, and have called on the government to instead focus on owners, dog licencing and training.

From 1 February, XL Bully owners will need a certificate of exemption which have to be applied for before 31 January.

It came after the overall number of dog attacks has also soared. Figures obtained by The Independent from police forces in England and Wales show there has been an almost 60 per cent rise in the last five years.

On the new ban, environment secretary Steve Barclay said the government had met its pledge to take “quick and decisive action” following a series of attacks, with one man dying after being savaged by one of the dogs earlier this year.

But the RSPCA said banning the breed was “not the answer” and warned of a “huge risk” that rescue centres and vets will be unable to cope.

Those with information should contact the RSPCA’s appeals line on 0300 123 8018, quoting reference 01202686.