Posted: Mon 18th Sep 2023

Minister welcomes plans to ban American Bully XL after call for action

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Sep 18th, 2023

Rural Affairs Minister and Wrexham’s Member of the Senedd has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement that it is to ban the American Bully XL by the end of the year.

On Friday Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that he asked UK Government ministers to to bring together police and experts to define the breed of dog behind these attacks with a view to then outlawing it.

It comes after several dog attacks in recent months, which have led to serious injuries and in some instances fatalities.

The prime minister said: “It’s clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs. It’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌​​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​

“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. ‌​‌‌​​​‌‍‌​‌​‌‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌‌​​‍‌​​‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​​‌‌​‍‌​‌‌‌‌‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌​‌​‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌‌‍‌​​‌​‌‌​‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌​​‌‍‌​​‌‌​‌​‍‌​​​‌‌​​

“These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak making the announcement on Friday 15 September

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, a definition of the ‘American XL Bully’ breed type needs to be specified – including clear assessment criteria for enforcement authorities – in order to impose a ban.

The Government must then lay a Statutory Instrument to add it to the list of dogs banned under the Act. This will make it an offence to own, breed, gift or sell an XL bully.

This will be done by the end of this year.

The prime minister’s announcement has been welcomed by Wales’ Rural Affairs Minister and Wrexham’s MS, Lesley Griffiths.

The Minister said: “I have written to the UK Government over many years asking them to address the number of incidents involving American XL Bully Breeds, and to look at how the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 can be improved.

“Just this week I raised the matter again with the DEFRA Secretary of State and I look forward to seeing the detail of the measures.

“My officials will work closely with UK Government to ensure the ban does not negatively affect public safety, dog welfare or pressure on the wider animal welfare sector

“Promotion of responsible dog ownership is a priority for the Welsh Government and our Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs outlines the obligations on owners to keep their dogs under control.

“Our Programme for Government includes several measures that will improve standards of dog breeding and keeping in Wales.

“We will continue to keep under constant review what we can do here in Wales to prevent the dangers posed by irresponsible dog ownership, while promoting the benefits that dogs can bring to society.”



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