By: Charlotte Tilden ’25
Recently, UK prime minister, Rishi Sunak, announced that the American XL Bully will be banned by the end of 2023.
Prime Minister Sunak tweeted, “It’s clear the American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities. I’ve order urgent work to define and ban this breed so we can end these violent attacks and keep people safe.”
The American Bully XL was developed as an extension of the pit bull terrier. It’s characterized by its robust build and bite strength.
With a bite strength of 305 pounds per square inch (PSI), makes it incredibly strong.
To understand the severity of this bite strength, Palermo Law Groups claims it only takes 160 pounds of pressure to break the strongest bone in the body, the femur.
In comparison to other strong mammals, the crocodile has a bite of force of 3,700 PSI, a horse has a bite force of 500 PSI, and a mountain lion has a bite force of 400 PSI.
In relation to dogs, German Shepherds has a bite force of 238-291 (PSI), English Mastiff has a bite force of 552 (PSI), and the Kangal with the bite force of (743)
Prime Minister Sunak announcement of the ban comes shortly after a reported increase in attacks.
In the past year, there has been 10 fatal dog attacks, 4 of the victims having been children.
Before 2022, there was only on average three fatal dog attacks a year.
From 2007 to 2021-22, the dog-related injuries have gone up from 4,699 to 8,819.
Prime Minister Sunak clarifies in a video message, “It’s clear this not about a handful of badly trained dogs. It’s a pattern of behavior and can’t go on.”
This ban will be under the Dangerous Dogs Act which targets dogs “bred to fight”. Under this act, is the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino, and fila Brasileiro.
Under this ban, it’s illegal to breed, sell, or swap any banned breeds.
For dog owners of the Bully, the police or local dog warden can take away their dog. They can take away UK residents’ dogs even if they haven’t been reported acting dangerously. Under this law, you also won’t need a formal complaint for your dog to be taken away.
Once taken away, Dogs are kept in kennels while the police and local make a court decision.
However, the Dog Control Coalition disagrees with banning believing it will not help.
A spokesperson for the coalition said, “The UK government must tackle the root issue by dealing with the irresponsible breeder who are putting profit before welfare, and the irresponsible owners whose dogs are dangerous out of control.”
They also fear there is a lack of evidence for the ban to be based on.
“Most people immediately look at some breeds and automatically think it’s dangerous only because it’s related to a Pit bull. I do not think that is very fair,” said Ryan Bartaon’24.
In response, a spokesperson for Sunak told Newsweek, “We recognize that there is a range of views on the issue, but the prime minister believes that it is right to first define this breed, then ban it.”
In order to define this breed, it will involve looking at existing dogs.
With the end of year only a few months away, only time will tell how successful the addition of the XL American Bully to the Dangerous Dog Act will be.
Until then UK residents are left in a state of uncertainty and the only thing they can do is hold on tight to their dogs, making it clear dogs are clearly man’s best friend.