Banning XL bullies after fatal attacks 'not the answer', says SSPCA

Home secretary Suella Braverman is pushing for a ban on American XL bully dogs after an attack in Birmingham on Saturday.

Scottish SPCA: Banning XL bullies after fatal attacks ‘not the answer’ as charity respond to Suella Braverman Getty Images

The Scottish SPCA has said that banning XL bully dogs is “not the answer” amid calls to make owning the breed illegal.

It comes after home secretary Suella Braverman took to social media to reveal she was seeking “urgent advice” on banning American bully XL dogs.

The dogs have been linked to numerous deaths in recent years, including 17-month-old Bella-Rae Birch, ten-year-old Jack Lis and was most recently seen in footage which showed an attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham on Saturday.

The animal charity has released a statement saying that the injuries and deaths caused by the breed are “fully preventable with responsible ownership”.

“XL bullies have been in the media and subject to calls for a ban, as they have been responsible for half of all fatal dog attacks in the last three years,” the SSPCA said.

“XL bullies are large and powerful dogs, and are more likely to cause serious or fatal injuries if they attack someone. The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has called for XL bullies to be banned. The Scottish SPCA does not believe this is the answer.

“Our thoughts are with the families of those who have been injured or killed by XL bully dogs. However, we believe that injuries and deaths are fully preventable with responsible ownership of these dogs.

“Action needs to be taken to better safeguard people from dangerous dogs, but banning a breed is not the solution.”

The Scottish SCPA went on to describe the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 as “flawed legislation” and said that dogs could be incorrectly determined as an XL bully due to there being no Kennel Club standard of the breed.

The statement added: “Banning any breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 will add to already flawed legislation. The 1991 Act needs to be properly and fully enforced and appropriate sentences handed out.

“The Scottish SPCA believes that anyone found guilty of owning a dangerous dog that has been involved in an attack should be automatically banned for life from owning another dog.

“The XL bully is a cross breed and there is no Kennel Club standard. Identifying an XL bully will be based on size, weight and certain characteristics which can mean dogs may be incorrectly determined as an XL bully.

“As there is no Kennel Club standard this also means many people could be breeding these dogs with no regard for health or temperament. Dogs bred and raised in low-welfare environments are more prone to both health and behavioural issues than those from reputable breeders.

“Banning the XL bully is unlikely to stop people who are breeding dogs for the wrong reasons from creating another aggressive and powerful cross breed of dog.”

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