Protecting our communities from the XL Bully 

Date published: 15 September 2023 15:45
Dated: 15 September 2023 16:43:05

A senior South Yorkshire Police officer has spoken out about the ongoing threat posed by XL Bully dogs following the announcement made by the Prime Minister today (15 September) to ban the breed.

Assistant Chief Constable Dan Thorpe continues to raise the force’s concerns about the dangerous breed, amid this week’s fatality in Staffordshire and a recent attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham.

Within South Yorkshire, we have sadly seen the horrifying capability of the XL Bully with children as young as two years old being attacked and left with life altering injuries, as well as fatalities from other dangerous dogs.

We remain eager to protect our communities from a threat we know is out there, and welcome any measures which can help keep people safe.

In today’s announcement, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said the breed will be accurately defined before powers under the Dangerous Dogs Act would be used to ban American XL Bully dogs by the end of the year.

XL Bully dogs account for 25 per cent of all the dogs we seize in South Yorkshire, and we are continuing to see an increase in seizures, fatalities and in having to kill dogs at an incident to protect public safety.

Assistant Chief Constable Dan Thorpe said: “Without action, we fear it is only a matter of time until we too experience another fatality within South Yorkshire.

“The announcement that the XL Bully breed will be banned by the end of the year is a positive step in helping police forces, organisations and charities control the harsh reality we are experiencing.

“In addition to the threat these dogs pose to the public, we also must appreciate the danger and risk posed by these dogs to our officers; they are humans too.

“As a force, we are leading the way and sharing our best practice around early intervention to reduce the risk and act on concerns when they are reported.

“Our efforts are stronger with your help, and we continue to urge communities to report their concerns to us. We are here to help. If we know a dog poses a risk, or is causing fear, we can step in.”

Tackling the threat these dogs pose to innocent members of our communities remains our priority, but it must be acknowledged that the breeding of the XL Bully can often be linked to serious and organised crime, with these dogs being seen as a status symbol.

‘Puppy farms’ and ‘back yard’ breeders sell these dogs to fund their criminality, it’s a vicious circle of bad breeding and irresponsible owners, with the dogs’ welfare sadly of least importance.

Anyone with concerns about an owner, or dog in the community is asked to report online, via live chat or by calling 101.

You can provide information anonymously via independent charity Crimestoppers- 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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