American Bully XL dogs: Suella Braverman seeks ‘urgent advice’ on possible ban

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Home Secretary Suella Braverman says she is seeking “urgent advice” on banning “lethal” American Bully XL dogs.

It comes after a dog attacked an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham on Saturday, with footage posted online.

Ms Braverman said the attack was “appalling” and the breed was a particular danger to children.

West Midlands Police are investigating after the girl was bitten while the dog was being walked in Bordesley Green.

Two men who intervened were also bitten and left with injuries to their shoulders and arms.

The dog was taken to a local vet to be checked over before being transported to secure kennels while investigations continued.

And the owner of the dog has been spoken to by officers.

After phone footage of the attack was circulated on social media, Ms Braverman wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “This is appalling. The American XL Bully is a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly to children.

“We can’t go on like this. I have commissioned urgent advice on banning them.”

Former Justice Secretary Sir Robert Buckland also said: “I am deeply concerned by the rise of attacks on people, pets and livestock by XL Bully dogs . The government should take action and ban these dogs.”

The American Bully XL is not subject to any legal restrictions. But advice on banning the breed was commissioned last week, an adviser said.

Adding dogs to the banned list is the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra).

It is illegal to own, breed or sell dogs on Defra’s banned list.

PA news agency reported that there were concerns over the feasibility of adding the American XL bully to the banned list in Defra.

The dog is not recognised as a specific breed by the UK Kennel Club, the UK’s largest organisation concerned with dog health, welfare and training.

A Defra spokesman said: “We take dog attacks and anti-social behaviour very seriously and are making sure the full force of the law is being applied.

“This can range from lower-level Community Protection Notices – which require dog owners to take appropriate action to address behaviour – to more serious offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act, where people can be put in prison for up to 14 years, be disqualified from ownership or result in dangerous dogs being euthanised.”

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