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Environment Secretary on the XL Bully ban

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Environment Secretary Therese Coffey writes an opinion piece following on from the Government decision to ban the XL Bully dog. This piece has been published in the Express

Shocking incidents cause concern among our communities and are a clear demonstration of the danger that out of control dogs pose.  We have been working hard with the police, local authorities and animal welfare groups to help prevent attacks by encouraging responsible dog ownership, to ensure dog control issues are addressed before they escalate and to make sure the full force of the law is applied.

Owners who let their dogs terrorise people or other animals are already breaking the law, and we already have a full range of powers to apply penalties to owners who do not control their pets. Any dog that is dangerously out of control can be euthanised and their owners put in prison for up to 14 years and be banned from ever owning a dog.

However, given the recent rise of fatalities and other attacks it is clear that the time has now come for more decisive action - aimed specifically at the American XL bully.  Very sadly, fatal and serious dog attacks have risen sharply this year - with the American XL bully disproportionately involved in this rise.

That is why we will update the current list of banned dogs to include the American XL bully. These dogs would appear to be valued by some as status symbols prized for their aggressive temperament. We will not tolerate this any longer.

This has been under consideration for some time, but making it happen within the law is not quite as straightforward as people may think, as the XL Bully is not formally recognised as a breed in the UK.  We will be working with experts at pace to formally define the American XL bully and its characteristics so it can be added to the four breeds already banned by the Dangerous Dogs Act.

This is a critical first step on the road to a ban on the future breeding and sale of these dogs. While the courts have the power to allow people to keep banned breeds with certain conditions, like being muzzled and neutered, the number of so-called exempted dogs is higher than a decade ago. That was not the intention of the legislation passed over 30 years ago. Therefore, we will also review our guidance to enforcers of the law.

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  1. Comment by Lanre Akinmade posted on

    Please let us fright for this dogs,they don't have a voice,we the owner are there voice,l don't own eny dogs,please government don't ban this lovely dogs,let everyone own dogs license,

  2. Comment by Leah posted on

    There is an alternative - licensing and education. This has successfully reduced dog attacks by 80% in Calgary and is a self-funded model which will take financial pressure off public services.

  3. Comment by Rebecca C posted on

    Outdated and barbaric scare tatctic.
    Rishi Sunak. You should be ashamed.
    Please re-educate yourself on this breed.
    Spend some time with the families of these dogs.

    To all those who believe this ‘breed’ is the issue.
    The issue is you, the uneducated, narrow minded, keyboard warriors.
    More people are murdered in a year or killed by a vehicle in a year. Than any BREED of dog.
    I suggest as a country and as civilians we reconsider the way we tackle this going forward.
    We need to bring in tighter requirements and training for owning ANY pet in the UK.
    No animal should loose it’s life based on it’s “characteristics” or behaviour.
    Would you ban and euthanise a murderer so easily?
    The system is a joke.
    As an owner of many different breeds in the past.
    I can honestly speak on behalf of all right minded individuals that these dogs are the most loyal, loving family dogs.
    We need to review how we address the ownership of a dog. And the training that is carried out with dogs.
    Please don’t respond to my message with a backlash on how this breed should be banned.
    Because you will be falling on deaf ears.
    I have no time to listen to single minded anti-breed personell. You sicken me if you think that banning any breed is ok.
    This is so outdated. I imagine the majority of people against the breed are over 40 with stubborn one minded point of views. And have never come into contact with how beautiful this breed is.
    Please take some time to educate yourself further on the docile loving nature of this breed.
    I guarantee it will change your mind,
    And don’t Bully our dogs.
    Hold this country and the government accountable for irresponsible dog owners of all BREEDS.

  4. Comment by Ban bad owners not a breed posted on

    Banning the breed will only hurt families who are responsible owners in council / housing association homes, you need to tackle the Owners who are the problem, Motorbikes and balaclava type! They are moving on to the Belgian Malinois now, so that will be the next problem, stop it at its root, back yard breeders , dogs being sold on facebook and Gumtree. Educate parents , the last 3 kids that were killed had been left alone with a dog they had only had less than a week, those parents should have been charged with neglect.

    Why is it only bully breeds that make the media, I didnt read in the media about the woman who died on 3rd September , killed by 2 rottweilers, nor the 4 years old boy killed in 2022 by a Rottweiler (his gran was an unregistered breeder) . Now if you look at the amount of bullys compared to rottweilers in the UK one is no more dangerous than the other. These dogs involved in attacks are said to be XL bullys when in fact they are usually crossed to make them bigger. I've never been so ashamed to be British!

  5. Comment by Paul Drax posted on

    I absolutely support a ban. After Dunblane, handguns were banned because a lunatic shot a load of kids. I'm sure there were a lot of responsible handgun owners who would never hurt anyone, but frankly, that was just too bad. Handguns were banned because the dangers of allowing them were too great. These dogs need to be banned for the same reason. They may not all be dangerous, but too many of them are, and they are too unpredictable. Yes, any dog can be unpredictable, but most dogs aren't capable of overpowering an adult. These things can and that alone makes them far more dangerous than most breeds. We cannot continue to see adults and children being mauled to death on our streets. Imagine if one of these things went berserk in a playground, how many children could it kill before it were stopped? The risk is too great. As to the owners who are screaming about it, get a grip. Nobody is even proposing to take your existing dog away. You'll have to muzzle it, register it and neuter it, that's all. Surely if you are the responsible owners you claim to be, that won't be too much of a burden.

  6. Comment by Levi posted on

    It’s the owners not the dogs the dogs r innocent

  7. Comment by Levi posted on

    It’s the owners not the dogs

  8. Comment by Alexis posted on

    The breed is not defined. Once defined I’d like to see evidence of this ‘breed’ being specifically associated to these attacks. How can you propose to ban a breed without knowing what this bred actually is.

    Perhaps the government could focus more of their energy on banning other things that pose a risk to communicates such as disposable vapes, knife crime and the cost of living crisis before banning a ‘breed’ they don’t even know what it is.

    XL Bully’s are wonderful companions and great family dogs with good nature around children - like ANY dog that’s trained and living in a appropriate setting.

    Why not look at longer prison sentences and more punishment for back yard breeders and people that do not train and care for their dogs appropriately.

  9. Comment by Mary posted on

    You would need to define an XL bully properly because the dogs in these recent spate of attacks weren't even XL bullies. Was these dogs DNA tested? Is your conclusion they are XL bully based on a look because I've had these dogs within my family for over 13 years and those dogs were not XL bullies causing harm.

    • Replies to Mary>

      Comment by CK posted on

      I am a canine behaviourist and trainer and deal with the consequences of the DDA 1991. If proscribing dogs worked, we would not be having this discussion now.

      Breed-specific legislation has failed everywhere that it has been tried and many countries and regions where it has been imposed have replaced it with more effective controls. There is plenty of peer-reviewed evidence to back this up.

      Dogs that have been deemed to have been dangerously out of control that are then restricted to muzzles and leads in public are likely to develop even more problem behaviours as they are not then able to exercise natural behaviours including exercise and stimulation which in itself is in contravention of the AWA 2006.

      A dog that is highly aroused is highly unlikely to keep a muzzle on however well-fitted, and this is exacerbated in brachycephalic dogs and dogs such as the bull lurcher which are a non-standard shape.

      There cannot be a DNA test for the XL Bully or the so-called pit bull because it is a crossbreed. We will then be back to the ludicrous situation where dog's heads are being measured with callipers to determine if they contravene the law.

      All of this ignores the desperate need for more resources to be put into educating owners and more support for qualified professional behaviourists and trainers such as making them mandatory first-line referrals for veterinary staff and similar.

      It will just be a matter of time before another cross breed is developed that causes similar problems and we will be in danger of ending up like Ukraine in proscribing dozens of breeds - and there that includes the Labrador and Jack Russell terrier amongst other dogs that mostly cause no problems whatsoever.

    • Replies to Mary>

      Comment by Arriane Cook posted on

      Please read the findings of Bullywatch, Finding Kimbo genetics come into play

    • Replies to Mary>

      Comment by david griffiths posted on

      Totally agree. This is a cowards way out of the real problem which is bad owners and back street breeders.
      Punishing the many 1000s of responsible xl bulldog owners because of a minority of idiots who are clueless or just plain evil.
      The msn are a disgrace in their continuous pursuit of achieving their agenda of banning these dogs. Strange how we very rarely see any other breeds involved in attacks.
      As horrendous as these attacks have been, I've noticed that all these supposed xl bully attacks (which I don't believe they are all even xl bullies) are seemingly off lead running amok. Come down harder on these owners and imprison them if an attack results in a fatality. As per usual the spineless government bows down to the minorities shouting the loudest. Shame on sunak and his cowardly colleagues.

    • Replies to Mary>

      Comment by Jerry posted on

      I agree completely. The dogs in the attacks looked more pitbull type dog than xl bully the American xl bully is the size of the dog not a breed their so confused about it they are talking about the xl as if its a breed of its own. We have American bullies 1 xl and 1 standard both lovely natured it's the owners not th2 breed banning them won't resolve the issue because the shitty owners will then move on and get another breed ban. Dna test thw dogs in question you will soon see their pitbull type dogs not xl bully's

  10. Comment by Simon Davies posted on

    Why not make a self funding scheme, for those that want to own a dog over a certain size. A large dog tax that has to be paid which would cover the registration of the dog and temperament assessment. I’m sure responsible owners wouldn’t mind. It could be totally self funding, costing government nothing and also the tax payers without dogs nothing. It’s clear that the current dangerous dog act isn’t working and adding another breed to it isn’t going to improve the situation. Once your dog is registered and has passed assessment you get a license that you can show to the police if they wish to question you whilst on a walk. Responsible ownership is the only way forward.

    • Replies to Simon Davies>

      Comment by Dr Anna Garber posted on

      There are dogs of small breed size that are more of reactive and sometimes even human aggressive than larger dogs. This is ridiculous, similar to dividing people by their size (weight, height) and imposing different taxation system

  11. Comment by stanley posted on

    these dogs by nature are sweet loyal and gentle, any bully thats aggressive to people has been taught to do so 80% of the time with an odd exception as with every breed! banning or muzzling peoples dogs will only have further public uproar and psychological issues for owners! the recent attack videos clearly show that the dogs are not the same breed, each time its a different specification - therefore how you can outright determine all bully breeds are dangerous is Ludacris!!

    however the dog game needs to be regulated for every BREED. muzzle all dogs in public and mandatory certified dog trainer courses should be compulsory for all new dog owners! don't forget all small breeds show more aggression towards bigger dogs but people brush it off until their dog is injured!! BSL doesn't work - the RSPCA has warned you about this for decades - OWNERS are to blame for either NAIVITY or lack of knowledge! its time to level up.......

    • Replies to stanley>

      Comment by Ian posted on

      All breeds bred as fighting dogs should be banned - obviously.
      And the owners who refer to to their dogs as "my boy" etc. are clearly deluded. These animals are fundamentally bred to be dangerous and should at the very least be muzzled and neutered - preferably put down.

  12. Comment by Abbey stokes posted on

    Pathetic! No words !
    ANGRY ain’t the word. They are the most loveliest dogs! It’s the owners !!! Get a life!! It’s a joke man

  13. Comment by Amy posted on

    You have a Ferrari & a fiat 500.
    Yes, the Ferrari is a lot faster, louder and more powerful than the fiat , however they're both absolutely capabale of harming or killing someone if driven irresponsibly.
    The key and frankly only relevant difference behind both vehicles, is the person driving them.
    Enlighten me how this is different to the ownership of a certain breed of dog? Anyone who thinks l'm putting say a chihuahua into the same bracket as a mastiff - please don't , Of course I'm not doing that, I'm simply saying there are countless examples of the same context XL Bullies have been put into this weekend. It's all about the handler / owner and how they train, breed, nurture & use them.
    Do the government ban fast cars and class them as
    "dangerous"? No. They ban dangerous drivers. Does the government put whatever measures they can in place to ensure these vehicles are driven responsibly?
    I'm not trying to take away how devastatingly awful and heartbreaking those attacks were. But I think we need to start looking at the owners not the breed . Banning breeds has never changed anything !

    • Replies to Amy>

      Comment by Daren posted on

      Absolutely spot on, it's more a case of dangerous owners

    • Replies to Amy>

      Comment by katy posted on

      One problem with you example, cars don't have the luxury of having a mind of their own, they are souly controlled by their drivers but dogs have a mind of their own and free will. Does my head in people using cars as an example!

  14. Comment by Alison Wright posted on

    The dangerous dog act does not reduce dog attacks. They will continue to happen.
    There is an alternative - licensing and education. This has successfully reduced dog attacks by 80% in Calgary and is a self-funded model which will take financial pressure off public services.
    Irresponsible breeding, rearing and ownership contribute to increased likelihood in aggression, regardless of breed. Law needs to target breeders and sellers.

  15. Comment by Jon steers posted on

    It's absolutely disgusting that the uk government wants to put a ban on xl bully's. I'm a postman and on my delivery there is a 4 xl bully's and ALL of them are very friendly and only want some fuss and belly rubs. I have more issues with Jack Russell's,dash hounds and other small breeds that constantly try to bite me. It's the owners who are at fault not the dogs. Maybe the irresponsible owners of the few dogs that have attacked are heavily punished. It's totally unfair on the greater responsible owners

    • Replies to Jon steers>

      Comment by Julie Hickmott posted on

      I sympathise with being bitten by jack russell or other small snappy dogs but the difference is these breeds won’t kill a child or adult - Most responsible owners will acknowledge that you never ever leave a child with ANY breed of dog no matter how ‘sweet’ or gentle the dog is , a child is unpredictable and dogs are animals and will react if they have been hurt accidentally by a child
      I also get that sometimes it’s the owner not the, dog but the clear fact remains these XL Bully’s have a reputation by their nature and this cannot continue to be a risk for children -The evidence is there in black & white that they have a jaw so strong that it locks on and in the case i recently read about , no matter how many strong people tried to get the dog off it was physically impossible- We have to protect children & indeed adults from this dangerous breed - I feel for the owners of these dogs who say their dog is not like this, but it’s clear this law will stop the irresponsible owners for allowing these dogs to perhaps learn bad behaviour therefore decreasing the risk of yet another child from being killed again surely that's the most important factor in this whole situation?

  16. Comment by Gerard posted on

    It’s not the breed of the dog that’s dangerous it’s the owners that breed their dogs to fight and breed them to be dangerous it’s not the breed of the dog it’s the owners of the dogs I have a xl bully and he’s really good around people especially kids he’s really gentle and wouldn’t ever hurt anyone he’s been attacked not that long ago by a staffy it’s the smaller dogs are more dangerous than the bigger dogs just because they are a wee bit bigger doesn’t mean they are the fault again it’s not the breed of the dog it’s the way it’s brought up determines if the dog is dangerous or not stop blaming the breed and blame their owners who shouldn’t have a dog if they can’t train it properly

  17. Comment by LUKE posted on

    Bad OWNERS train dogs wrong and as a result of that we have out of control dogs, these dogs are trained to become like a weapon in the hands of iresponsible owners. ANY BREED of dog in the hand of a BAD OWNER CAN become dangerous and out of control.
    Now for those people that ARE Great, and Responsible owners, they have adopted there pets and gave they there second names, they have trained them done everything to make sure there dog is not dangerous, for them ther dogs are family members, THEY ARE FAMILY, they will not let anyone just take there family member specially when there dog is well behaved and innocent.

    We welcome a change in rules, if we have to neuture, muzzle, keep on leed in public, any kind of regulation i believe people will comply and be willing to make strickter change to protect the the breed from going into the wrong hands so it cant be trained to become out of control dogs. And by protecting the breed from going into the wrong hands we protect our fellow citizens from getting HURT BY A IRESPONSIBLE OWNER and his badly trained/untrained dog.
    Its the Owner NOT the Dog.

  18. Comment by Kirsty Elliott posted on

    What if your dog is a mix breed bulldog I have one. He is the sweetest dog you could ever meet around all the children in family including babies, and children who live nearby all know him. He is never let off his lead unless in a secured field n that is with 50ft lead so he is able to run around without any other dogs or kids, everyone takes their dog to this area maybe having more areas like this is what's needed and also cracking down on these people who treat all dogs to be vicious not just Bully breed I don't like Jack Russell's or chihuahuas for the behaviour I've seen on some of them but I don't want them banned I want the correct people to breed dogs and if they don't then imprison them n get the dog proper training.

  19. Comment by D. posted on

    There's are thousands of owners of XL bullys who have always done right by thier dogs. They have been raised in families and these dogs are now a part of those families. They are being given a bad name by irresponsible owners and people who do not care correctly for them. My bully has always been amazing with children and adults as have many, many others that I have met. You can not punish a whole breed based on some bad cases. We are brought up not to judge a book by its cover. And not to have preconceptions however this doesn't seem to be the case with this decision that you are choosing to make. For example if one person in a family does wrong, the whole family/bloodline isn't punished. So why should this be the case for our dogs? Owners are responsible for Thier dogs actions. Punish owners and bring in rules regarding ownership instead of punishing innocent people and innocent dogs. Of course I sympathize with those injured or in some cases killed however not every XL bully is responsible for this. As a nation of animal lovers I erge you please reconsider your thinking around this decision . There are many more proactive options other than banning a breed of loving family dog. People who haven't been bought up around these dogs will be quick to judge because of negative preconceptions. You are taking the cowards way out by trying to ban a whole breed. The RSPCA and other animal experts are also against your decision . Why not listen to the experts?

  20. Comment by Matthew Gee posted on

    Ban and come down hard on irresponsible dog owners and breeders not responsible dog breeders and owners. Untill this happens banning one breed regardless of what breed it is won't help these horrific attacks from happening

  21. Comment by Chloe posted on

    I have an american bulldog that fits the description of what a xl bully is how are you gunna determine what a xl bully is when dogs such as staffy and bulldog crosses come into the description? All you’re doing is taking loveable family pets away from families and all they’ve known. It’s inhumane and disgusting. And it’s not gunna stop dog attacks another breed will just come to light and then that breed will be banned. I don’t think it’s fair that xl bullies get a straight ban maybe things should be put in place to keep people safe but a straight ban isn’t the answer at all.

  22. Comment by Rosemary Williams posted on

    The owners are to blame not the dog.

    If you ban the xl bully, these irresponsible owners will move onto another breed. Dog attacks will continue to happen.

    Instead of banning a breed, bring in licensing and education. Compulsory training.

    Any dog can be aggressive not just the xl bully.

    I believe all dogs should be on a lead in a public place. Doesn’t matter the size or breed of the dog. Any dog off lead could attack or be deemed as dangerous.

  23. Comment by Think posted on

    To the people who are freaking out: that's what this ban does- Punish the BAD owners! Why is it that with all this "owner not breed" screaming, people are upset the ban's punishing irresponsible owners? What's better, letting another Ian Price incident happen, or ensuring bad owners with dogs they have no business owning are dealt with accordingly?

  24. Comment by Jason Watson posted on

    its not the dogs fault its the owners fault are not training them properly thats why them XL bully dogs to be banned

  25. Comment by Olivia posted on

    It is not the breed it is the bad owners

  26. Comment by Tiana posted on

    Do bully’s are loving and beautiful dogs pls don’t ban them

  27. Comment by Scarlet posted on

    When will you learn to scrap the ban on breeds? Stop bad owners! I do not own this breed but have two other dogs. Bring back the dog license. Bring in legal requirements for owning dogs bring in mandatory dog training classes. Not the breed ALWAYS THE OWNER!

  28. Comment by monika posted on

    Please ASAP. remove this breed out of the public !!!
    Before is too late. thank you

    • Replies to monika>

      Comment by Rachel posted on

      You’re clearly so uneducated on these naturally sweet natured dogs! It’s like having a child, if you only teach it to misbehave, it’s all they know, same with dogs! Go educate yourself and meet some in person with responsible owners, it’s a shame because you’re missing out on how lovely they can be if raised well and given the love, care and education they deserve.

    • Replies to monika>

      Comment by Greg posted on

      Karen start your education about breed recognition then post your nonsense

  29. Comment by Martin posted on

    I have two XL’s there soft as a brush, there my pets nothing else,I don’t stud them out etc, how do I go about keeping them? What if I get them castrated, always on a lead. Have someone do any checks on them to see there not a danger to anyone or any animals etc would I get to keep them 😢

  30. Comment by Paul O'Donnell posted on

    Banning another breed wont work! Why doesn't our government listen to the proven advise from professionals who work with dogs.. you are more likely to be bitten of a golden retriever than any bull breed.. it's not about the breed it's about poor ownership and lack of education.. do some research into how effective BSL laws are.. breed specific legislation is proven not to work time and time again so why keep implementing it? Banning the breed is the wrong answer and will not stop dogs biting/attacking people or other dogs

  31. Comment by Tyler beevers posted on

    they shouldn’t be banned because you can’t just take someone’s dog away and they should be able to have a chance and they should have to either have mouth guards on if they are not controlled it’s not the bread it’s the owners

  32. Comment by Vanessa Sloniowska posted on

    if these disgraceful people ban this poor breed that is disgusting , the animal didnt do nothing to you or anyone they may look non-friendly but they are a beautiful and sweet creatures.

  33. Comment by Michelle E posted on

    We need to make owners accountable! Banning a breed will simply move backyard breeders on to another breed!

    What happens next, what is there are raised reports of Labrador’s, German shepherd , husky, Akita all attacking people, do you ban them too!

    You need to look at legislation! Bring in licensing, make insurance compulsory! This is just a starting point! Any responsible dog owner who loves their dogs, will move mountains to keep their dog & public safe!

  34. Comment by Michael abbott posted on

    Banning breeds does not work . Clearly the amount of American xl bullys in the uk at present is higher than any other breed with it Beeing the most popular breed so statistically it’s been involved in most incidents , wouldn’t that be the same with any breed that has the most number of dogs ? Cane corso, Rottweiler and Akita type breeds are far more unpredictable than any bully breed this is ridiculous. Licensing and tougher laws for dog owners , breeders is the answer not simply blaming the dog . Most attacks may I add where not xl bullys more so some sort of hybrid mix , time for the government to stop taking the easy route and blaming breeds and looking like they are doing something and actually tackling the problem Head to on and stop banning breeds , it’s not the answer

  35. Comment by Leah atkin posted on

    What you fail to take into account is the proportion of XL Bullys in the UK at the moment in relation to dog attacks. For example, if the UK had a sudden surge in Rottweilers (also responsible for deaths in the past couple of years) I would take an educated guess to say that there would be a rise in Rottweiler attacks. It is quite clear the law needs changing in terms of who is allowed to own large breed dogs, not the type of dog

  36. Comment by Rebecca Potter posted on

    The recent events have been horrific. However, this action taken by the government is narrow minded, and is failing to address the root cause of this problem - the owners. As a dog owner, for breeds large and small, you take on the responsibility to correctly care and train your dog to abide by societies rules and keep them, and others safe.

    There are many who "dislike" this particular breed, but that shouldn't result in a nationwide cull, affecting those who are part of the family, truly cared for and correctly trained.

    All dogs - all animals can do harm. This is not limited to this breed. The majority of attacks from smaller dogs do not get reported, despite serious harm being done.
    The stats being quoted are predominately being pulled from a website, which it itself states a possible bias against the breed and larger dogs. I refer to larger dogs as many large crossbreeds will be caught up in this ban.
    If you have to make an example to those raising dogs who are a possible danger to public - make an example of the owners. The humans who have the awareness to understand what should be expected of an animal, and is letting them (the dogs) down to become banned for loving UK homes.

  37. Comment by charlotte copage posted on

    The fact a whole breed is going to be banned due to a number of irresponsible owners raising dogs poorly, is so upsetting. This issue is purely in the hands of the owners of these dogs, it is not a reflection on the kind and caring breed that is the Xl Bully and it is heartbreaking that these beautiful animals have been raised in such a way.
    No dog should be brought into a home that isn’t full of love, kindness and appropriate training. It is irresponsible and dangerous, no matter what breed the dog is.
    Xl bullies are amazing and have as much right as any other breed to be accepted by society.
    All this ban will do is have negative effects on our dogs who are going to be forced to be unsociable, when they are an extremely sociable breed. Please rethink this ban

  38. Comment by Tilly posted on

    Ban the owners not the breed

  39. Comment by Wayne posted on

    Ban these horrible devil dogs NOW not next year, cull the rest, compulsory muzzle for similar breads, yes small dogs bite but if they do you can fight them off with these you have no chance, they can bite through bone.

  40. Comment by Daniel posted on

    What about those who don't keep their dogs as a status symbol? Those that keep their dog as a loving family pet? Those that keep their dog as a companion? Those that have dedicated themselves to train and look after their dogs?

    I've never heard of anything so narrow minded in all my life! Embarrassing!!

  41. Comment by Nicole Shiers posted on

    The XL bully should not be added to the banned breeds list of dangerous dogs. These attacks do not speak for the breed as a whole. The vast majority of us who own a bully are responsible owners. We love, care for and train our dogs properly and are capable of coping with the strength of them. My bully is fully insured and has been raised around family and children. He lays down in the street for other dogs and thinks every person passing by him is going to stroke him because he’s been raised with pure love. He is not a commodity nor a status symbol. He is our family pet and is a part of our family. I have no faith in the fact the government will even be able to manage the volume of applications that they will receive to register these dogs when all this comes about. The people like myself should not be walking around worrying about if/when our dogs are going to be taken off us. Banning the breed doesn’t work it’s been shown on multiple studies. All it does is means back street breeders will move onto the next sought after breed and it will continue from there. What breed is next to be banned after bullies? How many dogs will be unfairly euthanised as a result of this ban? How many genuinely friendly dogs will be taken away from their loving owners to live in police kennels for weeks to be assessed for aggression? This can’t happen. Over 500,000 have signed the petition not to ban the XL Bully. You as our government need to listen to the people and the people as a whole do not want this. There might be a select few that do and I understand this is a result of the media attention and coverage this breed has received. You’re looking at the wrong end of the lead! Controls need to be put in place, even licenses but NOT a ban!

  42. Comment by Lyndsay d posted on

    Don’t ban the breed! Not all dogs should be tarnished with the same brush.
    You will be potentially be ruining family lives and causing mental health problems to children due to this.
    Please don’t blame all dogs for the faults of humans

  43. Comment by Daisy posted on

    not all dogs are like this even other breeds can be aggressive it’s not there fault it’s the way the owner has bought the dog up. it will break the owners to the dogs. it’s the owners fault don’t blame the breed

  44. Comment by NotoDefra posted on

    Although I have to agree with this particular stance, DEFRA are known for their severe disdain, lack of respect and ignorance when it comes to the best interests of animals. A la Geronimo.

  45. Comment by Alfie posted on

    Will the Government help towards costs of getting my KL Bully neutered

  46. Comment by Patricia Zachariah posted on

    I agree that any dog can bite, but all dogs have the wolf gene and if there are more than one become a pack . Any dog can turn , may be they are in pain or its too hot or something frightens them and all dogs can give a nasty bite, but the strength of these dogs is such that they can do serious harm. I cannot see where licencing or registering them will help, because it will just drive them under ground . I think neutering will help in the long run but unscrupulous owners will just ignore it. It is a massive problem and needs to be dealt with ,before it becomes unmanageable.Hefty prison sentences and destruction of said dog will send out the message to be more responsible .

  47. Comment by Charlie posted on

    There is absolutely an issue with attacks and I am in no means dismissing this, although the percentage of attacks in the UK are rising and there are already 4 banned breeds which proves this method clearly isn’t the answer. The issue lies with backstreet breeders, overbreeding and these loveable animals falling into the hands of bad owners who provide improper training and will use their dogs as a status symbol.

    In my opinion there are many other options to take rather than yet another ban which will only lead to another innocent breed being targeted in the future. Having to have a license to be able to breed dogs and making this much stricter than the current license in place could be an option, as well as putting something in place to ensure all dogs are trained professionally. I’m sure there are also many other routes that could be taken to decrease the amount of dog attacks rather than the easy option of simply just banning the breed as in a few years time we will most likely find ourselves in this exact position again.

  48. Comment by Kiera Stephen posted on

    The dogs are not to blame, we need more restrictions on breeding and ownership of ALL dogs (not just bully breeds) and the laws already in place need to be enforced more strictly. XL bully’s are the sweetest and most gentle dogs when in the right hands and they are not the only dogs involved in fatal attacks. Banning this breed will not make any difference to the dog attacks happening and will make it worse in the long run as the new restrictions will make it almost impossible to fulfill these dogs’ needs properly resulting in even more behavioural issues than are already seen.

    • Replies to Kiera Stephen>

      Comment by Beth posted on

      Totally agree

    • Replies to Kiera Stephen>

      Comment by Lucy posted on

  49. Comment by None of your business posted on

    So what about the American bulldogs? They are pure bred, have been living in this country for decades with no history of aggression. They are NOT XL BULLY’S and this needs to be clarified by government because there are a handful that of terrible owners, aggressive dogs which will always be there. Did you people not learn when you banned pit bulls? Look at what you’ve created now! Did it work? I think not. Penalising responsible owners with sociable dogs is out of line. Worrying now that our dogs which are NOT XL BULLY’S are going to be taken away because they share vague similarities by look. You really believe everyone will be turning in their beloved pets so you can poke, prod and try to grasp any sort of reaction from them? I know exactly what goes on behind the scenes. Even the RSPCA know this is not the answer. Some people don’t like little yappy dogs. So you know what, people will just go out buying cane corsos or a surge in other more powerful breeds. You are trying to get peoples votes that’s all and you are more foolish than I thought possible from this mish mash joke of what you call government. Pathetic in fact. Remember when you tried to demonise staffies? I do! Again another pathetic knee jerk reaction due to a handful of owners that should never be allowed to own a pet in the first place. Who get these dogs to guard drug dens and such. Be prepared for riots and violence as you tear away family pets that have never even caused any issues or shown any signs of aggression. Give the power hungry police even more power to control the oppressed and people will only take so much. I can’t believe after all these years how ignorant you still are surrounding these issues. The media have made it worse and I’m actual fact there are more dog bites by labradors and German shepherds but because they’re so called service dogs you won’t ban those will you?

    • Replies to None of your business>

      Comment by Karen Sear posted on

      Absolutely we have a Beautiful boy American Bulldog he loves everyone and everything x

    • Replies to None of your business>

      Comment by Lucy posted on

    • Replies to None of your business>

      Comment by Luke posted on

      Very nicely put.. bad OWNERS train dogs wrong and as a result of that we have out of control dogs, these dogs are trained to become like a weapon in the hands of iresponsible owners. ANY BREED of dog in the hand of a BAD OWNER CAN become dangerous and out of control.
      Now for those people that ARE Great, and Responsible owners, they have adopted there pets and gave they there second names, they have trained them done everything to make sure there dog is not dangerous, for them ther dogs are family members, THEY ARE FAMILY, they will not let anyone just take there family member specially when there dog is well behaved and innocent.

      We welcome a change in rules, if we have to neuture, muzzle, keep on leed in public, any kind of regulation i believe people will comply and be willing to make strickter change to protect the the breed from going into the wrong hands so it cant be trained to become out of control dogs. And by protecting the breed from going into the wrong hands we protect our fellow citizens from getting HURT BY A IRESPONSIBLE OWNER and his badly trained/untrained dog.
      Its the Owner NOT the Dog.

    • Replies to None of your business>

      Comment by Ange posted on

      I also own an American Bulldog. I cant believe how many people have asked me recently about my dog being banned for me to try and explain they are different dogs. I am terrified of him being mistaken, as I am for any bull breed owner, especially mixed breeds.
      My heart goes out to xl bully owners too.
      My sweet old boy who passed at aged 15 just two years ago was a staff x mastiff and would have most definitely been mistaken for an xl bully. I have owned bull breeds for many many years and they are the sweetest dogs. I really hope the government wake up and realise banning dogs doesn't work. But I suppose the work it would take to sort this out properly would mean this government had to do some actual work, put in some real effort to sort out the bad breeds and the bad owners. Of course blaming the dog is easier.

  50. Comment by Egle posted on

    This is absolutely ludicrous. Maybe ban irresponsible dog owners rather than a breed?? Anyone who knows anything about dogs know that no breed is vicious and malicious in its own right. You remove one dog, then the next one on the list will become the one responsible for most attacks since it's a about how they are raised 99% of the time.. then what? You gonna keep banning dog breeds until it's only Chihuahua's left? And even they probably will do something until all dogs are banned?
    It's sad to see that you are not solving the problem but just masking it.

    • Replies to Egle>

      Comment by Debbie Ambrose posted on

      Ban them immediately

  51. Comment by Chrisie Mae posted on

    As mentioned above, the number of previously banned 'pitbull type' dogs are still all over our streets without muzzles and no doubt being bred from to create god knows what types of dogs! Is this also going to be addressed? Its like the current ban isn't being policed anymore!

  52. Comment by Harriet posted on

    Hi. By banning the xl bully , given there are four types of the bully in question and so many bulldogs mixes out there, are you considering banning all American bully type breeds? Genetics are a huge factor of dogs and how they behave as well as ownership being a part to. Can you not get licensing to own such large breeds ? And that licence will alone say cost 500 if not more depending on the breed as well as assessments on their environment they end upon.

    • Replies to Harriet>

      Comment by Burak uyanik posted on

      This is exactly what i was thinking that went passed my heart to own a dog above 25 kg you have to pay £500 a year plus insure your dog also this will prevent irresponsible dog handlers as they wont just by a dog for show also when it comes to breeders they have ban legal breeding for up to 3 litters and make it licensed breeders only this will prevent back yard breeding also the government could also tax this market to invest straight back in to it only this way things could get better with responsible owners please hear me out uk government

      • Replies to Burak uyanik>

        Comment by Harriet posted on

        Yes! And if you want anything say over 50kg then it will cost 1-2 thousand a year, every year, through out their lives. Would make selling off unwanted dogs better to. As well as having to prove the environment you are in and having to go through assessments. Although I am unsure how exactly this would be policed

  53. Comment by Finn posted on

    It is the owners

  54. Comment by Elizabeth Epton posted on

    When will you learn to scrap the ban on breeds? Stop bad owners! I do not own this breed but have two other dogs. Bring back the dog license. Bring in legal requirements for owning dogs bring in mandatory dog training classes. Not the breed ALWAYS THE OWNER!

    • Replies to Elizabeth Epton>

      Comment by Debbie Ambrose posted on

      These dogs are fighting dogs ban them immediately half the time the owners say they are family pets then they kill these dogs are not pets

      • Replies to Debbie Ambrose>

        Comment by D king posted on

        You clearly know nothing about the breed american bullys were bred for temperament and as companion dogs not to fight. ANY dog will do what it's owner trains them to do.

    • Replies to Elizabeth Epton>

      Comment by Christine Adams posted on

      You really think a dog licence will be the answer?Look at the microchipping "law." Ignored by many and not enforced.
      I object as a responsible dog owner having to buy a licence which is nothing more than a tax on dog owners.We have to pay VAT on dog food etc., even vets fees.
      Let the Govt use that money!

  55. Comment by Nathan boyer posted on

    Don’t ban they are loveing dogs to children and family’s

  56. Comment by Ella foster posted on

    I think they should stay because yeah some are dangerous but that’s the owners fault not theirs, it’s just not fair to all the nice ones that each family adores!

  57. Comment by Tracey Darnell posted on

    The reason there are more exempt dogs than a decade ago is because many of these dogs are not of type but the tape measure says they are!!!!
    Banning another breed is not the answer its the people who own them and teach them to be aggressive for their own benefit.
    I owned an exempt Pitbull who was the most loving dog and was attacked by many breeds of dogs while on walks even the smallest of dogs. I was also put at risk defending my boy.

  58. Comment by Courtney posted on

    Not all dogs are like this it’s just how they are brought up when they can turn my one loves everyone wouldn’t hurt a soul 👋

  59. Comment by David posted on

    How does one get an exemption from the courts my dog is m into hipped I can have her neutered she's 6 going on 7 been raised around a young boy at the age of 6 he is 13 now the dog is loving and a family pet she has a muzzle and we have our own back garden that is fenced off... doesn't explain how one actually goes about getting in contact with the courts to apply for such a thing

  60. Comment by Jessica Neave posted on

    Does this mean any bulldog breed would need to be muzzled?

  61. Comment by Roger J Taylor posted on

    The sooner the better, why does anybody need to own a dog of this temperament, knowing full well of its characteristic nature and unpredictability.
    Ban them now without question or more lives will be lost.

    • Replies to Roger J Taylor>

      Comment by Lucas posted on

      Thank goodness someone has sense. People just don’t understand why inbred dogs with brothers and sisters as parents are messed up in the head. Jesus. This is a threat to humanity. What the hell is wrong with British people?

    • Replies to Roger J Taylor>

      Comment by Paul O'Donnell posted on

      It's ignorance like that why a ban is happening.. you are more likely to be bitten of a golden retriever than any bull breed.. it's not about the breed it's about poor ownership and lack of education.. do some research into how effective BSL laws are.. breed specific legislation is proven not to work time and time again so why keep implementing it? Banning the breed is the wrong answer and will not stop dogs biting/attacking people or other dogs.

    • Replies to Roger J Taylor>

      Comment by Lucy posted on

      They are only aggressive if you want them to be it’s down to the owners ban the owners who tram them to be nasty not the dogs fault

    • Replies to Roger J Taylor>

      Comment by Caris posted on

      Your obviously not very well educated when it comes to dog breeds are you? I will leave it at that.

    • Replies to Roger J Taylor>

      Comment by jason posted on

      I strongly agree, ban should take place asap.
      Its in the dogs to attack and some careless owners just make them worse!

  62. Comment by Christina Aitken posted on

    I think all the dogs that status symbols should be banned as they for aggressive behaviour, I agree it is not the dogs fault, but those who have been hurt and killed would not agree and they should all be removed from UK, just like guns are, we don't allow them.

    • Replies to Christina Aitken>

      Comment by Daniel posted on

      Shall we ban kitchen knives too? The knife is not dangerous until it's in the hands of a lunatic!

    • Replies to Christina Aitken>

      Comment by Had to reply posted on

      Guns are not banned from the UK, they are licensed to people who are deemed responsible. Just like dogs should be. Farmers own plenty of guns, if you are going to be commenting on a subject. Do not disprove your own point.

  63. Comment by Mike Mellor posted on

    I really value explanatory posting giving the government’s position unfiltered by any media. Thank you