XL bullies WILL be banned as attacks claim yet more victims: Rishi Sunak finally vows to crack down on the 'mutant' dogs – as man dies and horrific footage emerges of boy, 10, mauled as he plays outside his house

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:16 min(s) read

  • BREAKING: Breed will be defined and banned following ‘pattern’ of attacks
  • Ministers told to define breed so it can be outlawed under Dangerous Dogs Act
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. Plan comes after fatality and attacks on children

The American XL Bully dog will be banned by the end of the year following a series of attacks, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said.

In a video announcement posted to his X – formerly Twitter – account on Friday, the PM said the breed would be banned following a ‘pattern of behaviour [that] cannot go on’.

Mr Sunak said he has ordered ministers to convene a panel of experts, including the police, to define the breed so it can then be outlawed.

The announcement came after a man died in a suspected XL Bully attack in Stonnall, Staffordshire, the third incident involving allegedly out-of-control dogs in the West Midlands in less than a week.

The fatality occurred just a day after a ten-year-old boy was attacked by an out-of-control dog while playing football less than three miles away. Less than a week earlier, an XL Bully mauled an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham.

Just a day before the fatal attack in Stonnall, a ten-year-old boy was attacked outside his house as he played football in the street. The incident left the youngster with horrific arm wounds

Just a day before the fatal attack in Stonnall, a ten-year-old boy was attacked outside his house as he played football in the street. The incident left the youngster with horrific arm wounds

Mohammed Sami Raza was left yelling for help as the dog clamped its jaws around his forearm, eventually leaving him with injuries to his arms, legs and neck

Mohammed Sami Raza was left yelling for help as the dog clamped its jaws around his forearm, eventually leaving him with injuries to his arms, legs and neck

The boy at Walsall Manor Hospital, where he is still undergoing treatment for his injuries after the unprompted attack on Wednesday

The boy at Walsall Manor Hospital, where he is still undergoing treatment for his injuries after the unprompted attack on Wednesday

Pictures of Mohammed inspecting his injuries as he sits in hospital. He is awaiting surgery following the attack

Pictures of Mohammed inspecting his injuries as he sits in hospital. He is awaiting surgery following the attack

Horrific images released by Mohammed's father showed deep gouging wounds in his arm

Horrific images released by Mohammed’s father showed deep gouging wounds in his arm

Mohammed with his dad, Gohar Siddique, who has called on the owners of bigger dogs to ensure they are secured and kept under control

Mohammed with his dad, Gohar Siddique, who has called on the owners of bigger dogs to ensure they are secured and kept under control

Mr Sunak said Bully XLs would be banned following a 'pattern of behaviour [that] cannot go on'

Mr Sunak said Bully XLs would be banned following a ‘pattern of behaviour [that] cannot go on’

Rishi Sunak's announcement came after a man was mauled to death by two dogs in Stonnall, Staffordshire on Thursday

Rishi Sunak’s announcement came after a man was mauled to death by two dogs in Stonnall, Staffordshire on Thursday

American XL Bully dogs will be banned in the UK by the end of the year

American XL Bully dogs will be banned in the UK by the end of the year

‘The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children,’ Mr Sunak said. 

‘I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we’ve all seen. Yesterday we saw another suspected XL Bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality.

‘It’s clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs: it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.

READ MORE: Shocking moment crazed dog attacks ‘terrified’ boy, 10, as he plays football outside his home is revealed and father says: ‘This should not be happening to our kids’ 

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‘While owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, I want to reassure people that we are urgently working on ways to stop these attacks and protect the public.

‘Today, I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks with a view to then outlawing it.

‘It is not currently a breed defined in law so this vital first step must happen fast.

‘We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year.’

Mr Sunak added: ‘These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe.’

The mother of a ten-year-old boy who was mauled to death by an XL Bully said she was lost for words following the announcement.

Emma Whitfield’s son Jack Lis died after he was savaged by the animal on 8 November 2021 in Caerphilly.

Brandon Hayden, 19, and Amy Salter, 29, both of the Welsh town, were jailed for four-and-a-half years and three years respectively after being convicted of being in charge of the dangerously out of control dog.

Ms Whitfield, quoting the PM’s video, tweeted: ‘I’m sobbing. I’m sat on my own sobbing. I don’t even have words right now.’

Ana Paun was walking to the shops with her 18-year-old sister when an XL Bully leapt up at her from a bus shelter in Birmingham last Saturday

Ana Paun was walking to the shops with her 18-year-old sister when an XL Bully leapt up at her from a bus shelter in Birmingham last Saturday

Footage of the savage dog attack in Birmingham that left Ana and two men injured

Footage of the savage dog attack in Birmingham that left Ana and two men injured

The fatality in Stonnall is the third dog attack in less than a week in the West Midlands

The fatality in Stonnall is the third dog attack in less than a week in the West Midlands

Ministers have been ordered to convene a panel of experts and police chiefs to define the XL Bully breed - with a view to banning it under the Dangerous Dogs Act

Ministers have been ordered to convene a panel of experts and police chiefs to define the XL Bully breed – with a view to banning it under the Dangerous Dogs Act

Downing Street denied the Government has taken too long to ban American XL bully dogs.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said work had begun on outlawing the breed before the fatal attack on Thursday. 

He said: ‘The work was already underway before yesterday certainly but clearly we have seen a spate of horrendous incidents and whilst we recognise there are a range of views on this issue, the Prime Minister is of the view that it is right to act. Firstly to define this breed, and then to ban it.’

READ MORE: Dog attacks claim yet another victim: Man dies after being mauled by two dogs in latest horrific attack as boy, 10, is savaged just streets away and girl, 11, is set upon in Birmingham amid growing calls for fresh crackdown on dangerous animals 

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Asked whether ministers had ‘dragged their heels’ on outlawing the breed, the spokesman added: ‘I wouldn’t accept that. I think we’ve obviously been doing some policy work on this and you heard from the Home Secretary recently about how to take this forward. 

‘Clearly this breed of dog isn’t defined in law so it’s right to take the time to consider the best way to put an end to these horrendous attacks that we’re seeing.’

The PM’s video alluded to the fatal attack in Stonnall on Thursday, which took place yards from a local primary school.

An air ambulance, paramedics and police officers, including armed response units, were called to Main Street shortly before 3.15pm after the man suffered ‘multiple life-threatening injuries’. 

Courageous bystanders tried to help the victim, managing to contain one of the hounds and dragging the second to its owner’s home, while police locked down nearby St Peter’s Primary Academy as emergency workers attended the scene.

The victim was flown to hospital by air ambulance with catastrophic injuries and despite the best efforts of medics later died.

Police standing guard outside a house in Stonnall, Staffordshire on Friday. A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and of being in charge of dangerously out of control dogs, suspected to be XL Bullies

Police standing guard outside a house in Stonnall, Staffordshire on Friday. A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and of being in charge of dangerously out of control dogs, suspected to be XL Bullies

Jack Lis, 10, died after he was savaged to death by a Bully XL in Caerphilly in November 2021. His mother, Emma Whitfield, who has campaigned for the dogs to be banned, said she was lost for words following the PM's announcement

Jack Lis, 10, died after he was savaged to death by a Bully XL in Caerphilly in November 2021. His mother, Emma Whitfield, who has campaigned for the dogs to be banned, said she was lost for words following the PM’s announcement

Sharing Mr Sunak's announcement video, Ms Whitfield said she was 'sobbing' at the news

Sharing Mr Sunak’s announcement video, Ms Whitfield said she was ‘sobbing’ at the news

Metropolitan Police data shows how the American Bully has become the most seized dog in London in recent years

Metropolitan Police data shows how the American Bully has become the most seized dog in London in recent years

One of the dogs involved died after it was restrained, while the other was administered with a lethal injection by a vet. Police sources say that both animals were XL Bully-type dogs. 

A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and of being in charge of dangerously out of control dogs, and is due to be interviewed by detectives today.

Superintendent Tracy Meir said: ‘I would like to offer my condolences to the loved ones of the man who tragically lost his life in this horrendous dog attack. We are continuing to support them at this incredibly difficult time.

‘Detectives continue to investigate and we have taken statements, viewed CCTV and carried out house-to-house enquiries in the local area but are keen to speak to anyone with information.’

Less than a day before, emergency services had rushed to Bentley Drive in Walsall following reports that a ten-year-old boy had been savaged by a dog running free in the street.

The brown canine was captured on CCTV running past Mohammed Sami Raza as he played in the street at around 7.30pm on Wednesday – before suddenly turning and pouncing on him.

In horrific footage released by the family, the boy can be seen struggling for an agonising 30 seconds as the dog tugs at his arm and refuses to let go.

Anguished family members then rush outside, trying to coax the animal away. It is only after more than a minute of being struck that the vicious animal eventually loosens its grip. 

A grievous close-up of the boy’s injuries shows horrific gouge marks in his right forearm, as he lies on a hospital bed wrapped in blood-covered sheets. He is still at Walsall Manor Hospital awaiting surgery.

Gohar Siddique, the boy’s father, shared the awful clip because he wants to raise awareness, saying the phone call he received to tell him about the attack was one ‘no father wants to get’. While the breed of the dog in the video is unknown, he urged owners to keep their pets locked up.

The 36-year-old factory worker and dad-of-four said: ‘You just never expect this to happen to your own child. He was just playing football in the street.

‘He has very bad injuries and is still awaiting surgery now. He is being very brave but it has been traumatic for the family. It was terrifying.

‘I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to other people. This should not be happening to young children and it’s happened three times in our region this week.

‘If it were my two-year-old son outside, he would not be alive. If nobody had noticed this attack when they did then maybe Mohammed would be too.

‘It was just relentless. The dog would not let go. It was only when the passing taxi driver smacked it really hard that it finally stopped.

‘He must have been terrified. It’s hard to watch the video but I just want to make others aware. These dog attacks are happening far too often.

‘People need to make sure they have big dogs locked away. These can be dangerous animals in the wrong hands.’

Wayne Stevens (pictured), 51, was fatally attacked by an unknown breed of dog in April
His brother Gary Stevens has pleaded guilty to being in charge of a 'dangerously out of control' animal

Wayne Stevens (left), 51, was fatally attacked by an unknown breed of dog in April. His brother Gary (right), 54, has pleaded guilty to being in charge of a ‘dangerously out of control’ animal

The number of fatal dog attacks in the UK have soared in recent years - hitting a record high in 2022

The number of fatal dog attacks in the UK have soared in recent years – hitting a record high in 2022

A 60-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possessing a dog dangerously out-of-control and causing injury.

She was later released with a caution and voluntarily gave up the dog to be ‘humanely destroyed’, West Midlands Police said.

And in the third attack in the West Midlands in less than a week, an 11-year-old girl was among three people injured after an out-of-control XL Bully-Staffordshire bull terrier cross embarked on a chaotic spree of violence in Birmingham.

What is an American Bully XL and what makes it so dangerous? 

American bullies are a relatively new breed, having originated in the 1980s. 

They are mixed breed bulldogs, typically American pitbull terriers crossed American, English and Olde English bulldogs. 

Despite their relative popularity in the UK, they are not officially registered as a breed by the UK Kennel Club, making it difficult to know exactly how many are in the country. 

They are seen as ‘status symbols’ and are often purchased for their intimidating looks. 

Though the bully XL is the most common, the dogs can also be bred with mastiffs and other larger dogs to make them bigger, XXL or even XXXL. 

Controversial and illegal practices such as ear cropping are also carried out to make them appear more intimidating. 

The males can weigh between 70 and 130 pounds of muscle bone and have enormous strength. 

The ‘status symbol’ nature of the dogs has seen them become something of a weapon, purchased by people who want a thuggish and scary looking dog. 

Despite their lack of official certification, there is also a booming market with puppies regularly sold on Facebook and through places like Gumtree for anywhere between £500 and £3,000. 

However, experts are at pains to warn of their potentially dangerous nature, especially if their aggression is encouraged. 

They descend from bull-baiting dogs and if they aren’t trained properly then their aggression could surface.   

This could pose a real threat to humans, particularly children, and has been seen in several shocking recent deaths involving the dog.  

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Ana Paun had been walking home from buying sweets with her sister when the dog leapt up at her from a bus stop on Saturday September 9, before it savaged two men in the forecourt of a nearby petrol station.

Another four children were injured after being attacked by family dogs in Yorkshire. Among those injured was a 15-year-old girl who was admitted to hospital after being attacked by an XL Bully last weekend.

South Yorkshire Police said it is currently receiving between 140 and 185 calls a month for out-of-control dogs causing injury or panic, reports the Mirror.

Dog Legislation Officer PC Paul Jameson urged people to take greater care with their animals, and to report concerns they have about dangerous pets.

Mr Jameson said: ‘Nationally, and within South Yorkshire, we are seeing an increase in dangerous dog incidents and the severity of the risk they pose to members of the public.

‘We are not only urging parents to think about their own dogs and their children’s behaviour around them, but to also report concerns you may have around dogs in the community, especially where vulnerable people live.’ 

On Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police confirmed it was probing a fresh attack on a four-year-old child involving a ‘grey coloured pitbull type dog’.

The animal is said to have bitten the child on the leg during the incident at Hermit Road Park in East London at around 6.18pm on September 11, before turning on the boy’s father and attempting to bite him.

Its owner is then said to have called off the animal, before fleeing the scene. The boy was taken to a hospital in East London, where his condition was described as ‘not life threatening’.

Anyone with information on the attack is asked to contact the Met quoting reference 6646 of September 11.

Elsewhere in London, officers in Barnsbury said on Friday afternoon that they had seized three dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act after the animals were ‘dangerously out of control’.

Posting from the @MPSBarnsbury account, the Met tweeted: ‘These dogs were dangerously out of control; two of them killed several other pets, while the third attacked and bit a man who was trying to protect his own dog.’

Meanwhile, a man has admitted being in charge of a dangerous dog that killed his brother in an attack in Derby earlier this year.

Gary Stevens’ pet fatally attacked 51-year-old Wayne Stevens at a house in Cameron Road, Normanton, Derby, at around 5.50am on April 22.

At a hearing at Derby Crown Court, Stevens, 54, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act of being the person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death.

The dog was ‘destroyed at the scene’ due to ‘presenting a risk to officers and the public’, Derbyshire Police said at the time, but its breed was not mentioned during the hearing.

Dog behaviour expert Stan Rawlinson says he 'wouldn't go near' an XL Bully and says the animal's cross-breed nature makes it difficult to define

Dog behaviour expert Stan Rawlinson says he ‘wouldn’t go near’ an XL Bully and says the animal’s cross-breed nature makes it difficult to define

Prosecutor Julia King told the court: ‘I would argue that this was high culpability.

‘I would argue that the behaviour witnessed by a number of witnesses can be relied upon to inform the court as to the circumstances which in fact led to the death.’

Stevens, in jeans and a blue jacket, sat silently in the dock looking forward throughout.

His barrister Tony Stanford said: ‘Clearly this was an extremely upsetting incident for him to witness and be a part of.

‘He tried to pull the dog off his brother, to save his brother.

‘He bears considerable psychological guilt.’

Adjourning proceedings, Judge Shaun Smith KC said: ‘You have pleaded guilty to a very serious offence.

‘Prison is the most likely option, it is just a question of how long.

‘But I will give you bail in the meantime, so you can put your affairs in order.’

Stevens, of Cameron Road, will be sentenced at the same court on November 3.

Campaigners have been calling for a ban on XL Bullies amid claims that they are involved in an increasing number of attacks on people and other animals.

The cross-breed has become the most seized in London, according to official Metropolitan Police data, surpassing other dogs such as German Shepherds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and pitbulls.

Concurrently, the number of fatal dog attacks in the UK has risen to record levels in recent years.

The breed – a mix of American pitbull terriers crossed with bulldogs – is beloved by a number of celebrities, including rapper Drake, but in the UK are believed to be the work of poor-quality breeding.

Dog behaviour expert Stan Rawlinson previously expressed concerns over whether the XL Bully could be banned because it isn’t defined as a breed.

He said: ‘XL Bully dogs are very reactive. They’re like the old Roman dogs of war that attacked Britain and helped forge an empire across the continent. 

‘More people are going to die unless we do something about it. 

‘They aren’t an official breed, it’s impossible to track them. The American Pitbull has been banned since 1991 but they are still coming in. That dog is the starting point for the XL Bully and more are being brought in every day.’

The exact number of XL Bully dogs in the UK is unclear as the Kennel Club doesn’t officially recognise the breed.

Criminal defence lawyer Rhianna Tsiattalou, of Stokoe Partnership Solicitors, believes that the cross-bred nature of the dogs could make any ban difficult to enforce.

She said: ‘While legislation can be black and white, the cross-bred nature of these dogs means that even if this ban comes into force, it would be a challenge to enforce it in every case.

‘If the data available to the government and experts is that these dogs are, in fact, inherently dangerous, then Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act (requiring owners to keep dogs under control) will not go far enough to protect the public.’




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