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Expert recommend licensing regime for American Bully XL dogs Published Date: 12/09/2023

A "leading" veterinarian has recommended a licensing regime for American Bully XL dogs as an option to be considered.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman is seeking "urgent advice" on banning "lethal" American bully XL dogs.

Her statement comes after footage was posted online of an attack on an 11-year-old girl in Bordesley Green, Birmingham. 

Ms Braverman wrote on social media:

"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."

"Leading" veterinarian Dave Martin, who acts as animal welfare adviser for around 1,000 vet practices under the umbrella of firm My Family Vets told The Independent that a “very high percentage” will have had experience of dealing with dogs attacked by American Bully-type breeds.

Dr Martin warned that the breeds have become “fashionable”, with some owners acquiring them as “status dogs” to make themselves look “more aggressive”.

While unlicensed breeding generally boomed during the pandemic, the only part of that trade that didn’t collapse upon people’s return to the office was the “very buoyant” American Bully trade, he said.

He added:

“If we ban these dogs tomorrow, what are we doing with the thousands of Bully XLs that are already wandering around our streets? Are we suggesting that we put them all to sleep? Which would just be something I can’t see the public ever agreeing to.

“Or are we going to have some sort of licensing system for those dogs? In which case we need to see the details to know whether that’s actually going to have any effect of whatsoever on reducing the level of injury or death that these dogs are causing.

The Dog Control Coalition, a group including RSPCA, Battersea Dogs Home and the Royal Kennel Club, says banning specific breeds is not the solution - pointing to "irresponsible breeding, rearing and ownership".