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Why is the UK banning American XL Bully dogs? – BBC.com

American Bully XL dogs are to be banned in the UK by the end of the year, the country's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced.
It comes after a man in England died following what Mr Sunak described as "another suspected XL bully attack" on Thursday. It was the latest in a series of deadly incidents.
Mr Sunak said he had ordered work to legally define the breed behind the recent attacks so it can be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act, which applies in England, Wales and Scotland.
The XL is the largest of four types of American Bully: standard, pocket, classic and XL.
Strong enough to overpower an adult, the American bully XL can weigh more than nine stone (60kg).
American Bullies are said to have originated in the US in the late 1980s, when American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers were crossed.
They have been crossed with other breeds to create an even more muscular dog.
The United Kennel Club in the US says that an American Bully "makes an excellent family dog" with a "gentle and friendly" demeanour, "despite its powerful appearance".
It says that "some level of dog aggression is characteristic of this breed" but also notes "aggressive behaviour towards humans is uncharacteristic".
While the US recognises the American Bully as a specific breed, the main British dog associations do not.
According to UK campaign group Bully Watch, the breed only appeared in the UK "around 2014 or 2015", with numbers growing rapidly during the coronavirus pandemic.
American Bullies have been involved in several high-profile attacks in the UK.
The most recent suspected attack happened in Walsall, in England's West Midlands region. Following the man's death, Mr Sunak announced his decision to seek a ban on the breed.
An 11-year-old girl was attacked by an American bully XL in Birmingham on Saturday. Two men who intervened were also treated in hospital after being bitten by the animal.
In April, a 65-year-old grandmother was killed after she tried to break up a fight between her two American bullies at her home in Liverpool. The coroner noted that she had been found with "catastrophic injuries".
Last year, a 17-month-old toddler was mauled to death in her own home by one of the dogs in St Helens, one week after her family had bought it.
And in 2021, 10-year-old Jack Lis died from severe neck and head injuries after he was attacked by an American bully XL in Caerphilly, Wales. His mother, Emma Whitfield, has called for the dogs to be banned.
American Bullies are illegal in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
The breed is also restricted in some countries, including the Republic of Ireland, where any American Bully must be muzzled and on a leash no longer than 2m (6ft 7in) when out in public.
Under the UK's Dangerous Dogs Act, which prohibits any dog that is "dangerously out of control", it is against the law to own the following breeds:
Dogs that share physical characteristics to the banned breeds – such as cross breeds – are also banned.
The police or local council dog wardens can take away the dog and keep it, even if it is not acting dangerously and no complaint has been made.
If the matter ends up in court, it is the owner's responsibility to prove their dog is not a banned type. If they cannot prove it or plead guilty, they will be convicted of a crime for which the penalty is an unlimited fine or up to six months in prison. The dog will also be destroyed.
Additional reporting by Matt Murphy
Landowner Saskia Irwin says her cat had to be put to sleep following an alleged dog attack.
The PM tells the BBC's political editor he is "thoroughly enjoying" himself out meeting voters in the election campaign.
Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer will face each other in a head-to-head debate hosted by ITV on 4 June.
The FM has written to the prime minister and Sir Keir Starmer and urged the UK to follow countries like Ireland.
The five-year-old was taken to hospital and the dog was seized following the incident in Hull.
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