XL Bully ban: All the claims made by owners to defend the dog breed, debunked

xl bully ban: all the claims made by owners to defend the dog breed, debunked

Both the dog’s breed and its owner’s behaviours can render it dangerous (Photo: Juan Botti/Creative Commons)

The incoming ban on American Bully XL dogs is controversial, particularly among the people who own them as pets, but also, perhaps surprisingly, among animal charities such as the Dogs Trust and the RSPCA.

Here’s a selection of the claims made in defence of the breed, and how true they really are.

‘It’s not the dog, it’s the owner’

It’s both. Specific breeds of dogs were created for specific tasks: the American Bully XL is from a line of dogs bred for fighting. That means that its physical and behavioural characteristics help it be a better fighter: it’s large, muscular, and highly tenacious. Regardless of how such a dog is raised and trained, it’s going to be more dangerous than other, smaller breeds.

That’s not to say that poor training and a lack of proper supervision and control couldn’t make things worse. Indeed, this is surely a contributing factor in several of the attacks we’ve seen recently.

Both the dog’s breed and its owner’s behaviour can render it dangerous.

‘All dogs can be aggressive’

This is true, but misleading. Any dog can become aggressive, or even violent. But regardless of how aggressive a Maltese gets, for example, it won’t be able to do much damage beyond a few nips and scratches.

An aggressive American Bully XL is another story: these are dogs that have been bred for fighting, have enormously powerful muscles and jaws, and, as tragically demonstrated in the recent death of a man in Staffordshire, are extremely hard to deter once they begin an attack.

This perhaps explains why American Bully XL dogs are now so dramatically overrepresented in UK dog bite statistics. Bully Watch UK estimates that, although the breed make up only around 1 per cent of UK dogs, they’ve been involved in 44 per cent of attacks this year, and 75 per cent of deaths in the last three years.

That makes them around 270 times more deadly than the remaining UK dog population.

‘You can’t define the breed’

One of the things Rishi Sunak mentioned in his statement about banning American Bully XL dogs was that he’d gather a panel of experts to properly define the breed. Does that mean that it’s difficult to even know what these dogs look like?

Given that dogs can be mixed with other breeds and appear at all different shapes and sizes, there will always be edge cases and uncertainties.

But it seems disingenuous to argue that there’s no definition of such dogs when several very detailed definitions, to which breeders and owners of American Bullies regularly refer, are available online.

‘It’s a great family dog’

There is simply no way to reconcile this statement, which is very commonly spread by breeders and kennel clubs online, with the statistics on attacks and deaths.

It’s also worth noting that several of the recent victims of American Bully XL dogs, both in terms of injuries and deaths, are children.

Even without any statistics, though, the claim doesn’t make sense on its face. It’s perverse to deny that a large, powerful dog from a breed originally designed for fighting and selected for muscularity will be dramatically more dangerous to have in your home than a cockapoo or a Jack Russell.

‘Dangerous Dogs Act is widely known as a bad piece of legislation’

The Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), or the DDA, is the law under which the American Bully XL will likely be outlawed.

It’s true that the perception of the DDA is of a rushed, failed piece of legislation. Certainly the Act was hurried through Parliament after a Pit Bull mauled a six-year-old child in 1991, and the legislation passed in one day. From then on, Pit Bulls and three other types of fighting dogs were banned in the UK.

Critics argue that by focusing on just these four breeds, the DDA doesn’t do enough to stop attacks from other breeds.

However, evidence from the US suggests that Pit Bulls are drastically overrepresented in the numbers of bite attacks. It’s plausible that the DDA prevented many such attacks here in the UK.

Many argue that the American Bully is a (more dangerous) variant of the Pit Bull, and UK breeders are thus exploiting a loophole in the law. The UK data from the last few years are at least consistent with this interpretation, implying that the dogs are particularly dangerous and aggressive, producing the disproportionate attack numbers noted above.

If that’s true, arguing that the American Bully should not be added to the DDA is like arguing that, although handguns are banned, we shouldn’t add modified, even more dangerous handguns to the banned list.

‘Ban on dogs misses the root causes, like unscrupulous breeders’

Nobody denies that breeders can be a problem: not only can they produce dangerously inbred dogs with serious behavioural problems and health issues, but they also sometimes engage in cruel and illegal practices like ear cropping and tail docking.

There’s no reason not to enforce existing laws against these practices, or even reform the law if that’s necessary. It doesn’t mean that we can’t also stop those breeders from breeding American Bully XLs. After all, if you’re worried about bad breeding, you should be even more worried when that bad breeding is combined with a fighting dog known for its size and aggression.

‘This law would punish innocent dogs’

A dog can’t be innocent, or indeed guilty. As noted by the Oxford University philosopher Rebecca Brown, a dog isn’t a “moral agent” in that sense: laws about specific dogs of dangerous breeds are about preventing harm to humans, and often have the benefit of preventing harm to other dogs.

It’s not even that a ban would involve all existing Bullies being taken from their owners or put down – it’s likely they would be made to wear muzzles and be kept on a lead while outdoors, and neutered which would end the breed eventually, at least in the UK.

‘Stricter licences for all dogs and owner education are better solutions than a ban’

One side of the argument here is clear: as we just saw above, we know exactly what we’d do if a ban on American Bully XLs was to be enacted.

The other side isn’t. It’s completely unclear what kind of “education” would work to reduce dog attacks, not to mention who in particular it would be aimed at.

And a system where all dogs are licenced and owners made to do some kind of training sounds extremely difficult to arrange and pointless, given the vast majority of dogs aren’t particularly dangerous. The danger of this specific breed sticks out like a sore thumb, and so it makes sense for legislation to be targeted at it.

‘If you ban American Bully dogs, another dangerous dog will just pop up in their place’

It took more than two decades between the banning of Pit Bulls and the appearance of the American Bully in the UK. If new dangerous fighting breeds arise, they can simply be added to the Dangerous Dogs Act ban list. It’s that straightforward.

This isn’t an argument against banning dangerous dogs, but it may be an argument to collect much better data on dog attacks, and ensuring that breed is accurately described each time.

‘Banning certain breeds makes them more attractive’

It might be true that some people get a subversive thrill from owning something known to be dangerous. This could partly explain the popularity of American Bully dogs which skirt close to the borderline of being illegal Pit Bulls. Perhaps it’s similar to people who collect illegal knives, guns, or other weapons.

But even though such people exist, a ban will make it harder for the average person to get access to the breed, and will make it clearer to those looking to buy a dog that American Bullies are a substantial risk. Also, if a ban involves neutering all existing American Bullies, it’s hard to believe that this won’t reduce their availability, regardless of how attractive the ban might make them.

News Related


Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 review: health tracking wonder wearable

Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 review: health tracking wonder wearable I always look forward to testing and reviewing new Galaxy Watches. Samsung’s wearable line is famous for its sleek design, which ... Read more »

Rugby-Italy struggle to come to terms with New Zealand hammering

Rugby World Cup 2023 – Pool A – New Zealand v Italy (Reuters) – Italy head coach Kieran Crowley said his team had been “monstered” by New Zealand following their ... Read more »

The 10 best England goals ever scored at the European Championship

The 10 best England goals ever scored at the European Championship Major footballing tournaments really galvanise English people as the nation bands together as one. This doesn’t just apply to ... Read more »

What is the Scandinavian sleep method? Experts reveal why it could help couples get a better night's sleep

What is the Scandinavian sleep method? Experts reveal why it could help couples get a better night’s sleep The Scandinavian sleep method may be the answer you’re looking for if ... Read more »

Ryder Cup: Tidal wave of European blue leaves USA wanting to get the hell out of Rome

It wasn’t so much a sea of blue in the Roman hills on Friday as a tidal wave. Ryder Cup: Tidal wave of European blue leaves USA wanting to get ... Read more »

How Laurence Fox set back GB News’s bid to break the ad boycott

Lawrence Fox’s recent on air comments have led to calls for GB News to lose its broadcasting licence – Peter Summers/Getty Images At GB News, the circular firing squad has ... Read more »

New York City declares state of emergency over severe floods

New York City declares state of emergency over severe floods Heavy rains overnight in the northeastern United States left parts of New York City under water on Friday, partially paralyzing ... Read more »

F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix in 'bigger than COVID' fears over key strike

The inaugural race on the strip hasn’t been without its troubles This year’s Las Vegas Grand Prix could have to deal with something currently sweeping the nation and dominating headlines ... Read more »

Bake Off viewing figures down for fourth year in a row

Viewing figures for The Great British Bake Off are down for the fourth consecutive year, albeit it’s only a slight dip from last year. The Channel 4 show returned earlier ... Read more »

Down 23% in a year, are Vodafone shares a busted flush?

Frustrated young white male looking disconsolate while sat on his sofa holding a beer The past five years and more have been a rough ride for owners of Vodafone Group ... Read more »

Couple buy a four-storey Italian home for the price of a chocolate bar

A couple, who purchased an Italian a €1 property in Italy, have said “it changed everything” in their lives. Jeffrey Pfefferle and his partner Leon McNaught found out about the ... Read more »

Cyberpunk 2077 director says studio's switch from REDengine to Unreal Engine 5 'isn't starting from scratch'

Cyberpunk 2077 director says studio’s switch from REDengine to Unreal Engine 5 ‘isn’t starting from scratch’ Cyberpunk 2077 marks the end for CD Projekt’s REDengine, the in-house technology that it’s ... Read more »

The flare-up of violence in Kosovo shows the folly of the west’s appeasement of Serbia

The killing last weekend of a Kosovo police officer by a group of 30 or more heavily armed Serbian nationalist militants marks the most significant security incident in that country, ... Read more »

NCAAF Week 5: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Duke Blue Devils betting picks, preview

Duke Blue Devils quarterback Riley Leonard (13). This is actually a big game. Duke grabbed our attention with their win over Clemson and Notre Dame is Notre Dame, even after ... Read more »

Biden’s poor ratings raise fears of a second Trump presidency

The $64,000 question gripping the US Democratic Party is, how can Joe Biden be languishing so low in the polls when, according to cold, hard numbers, he’s doing so well? ... Read more »

Everton make breakthrough for off-pitch personnel addition

Everton make breakthrough for off-pitch personnel addition To say that Everton’s recruitment in recent years has been poor would be an understatement, having welcomed the likes of Cenk Tosun and ... Read more »

Time-lapse video shows a supernova's aftermath ballooning into space

The nebula, called the Cygnus Loop, forms a bubble-like shape that is about 120 light-years in diameter. It is a remarkable age that we live in — a time when ... Read more »

Sunak ‘backs drivers’ with curbs on 20mph limits and bus lanes

Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Rishi Sunak has pledged to end “anti-car measures” as he set out a series of ideas to prioritise the needs of drivers at the likely expense of ... Read more »

Tottenham agree deal to sign Croatian starlet Luka Vuskovic - but he won’t join for some time

tottenham09022023a.jpg Highly-rated teenage defender Luka Vuskovic is set to sign for Tottenham. A host of clubs including Liverpool, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have all been linked with the ... Read more »

FTSE 250 correction: a once-in-a-decade chance to get richer?

Front view of a mixed-race couple walking past a shop window and looking in. The FTSE 250 has been on quite a rollercoaster ride of late. While the index is ... Read more »

A much better use for the ULEZ scrappage scheme

Not even scientific studies can reach consensus about how effective central London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been, so it’s no surprise that the expanded version – the world’s ... Read more »

Report: Fiorentina inserted extra clause into Sofyan Amrabat to Man Utd agreement

Manchester United secured a loan agreement with Fiorentina for Sofyan Amrabat on transfer deadline day. It went down to the wire, but Manchester United just about pulled off a deal ... Read more »

Tearful TV legend Alastair Stewart reveals dementia diagnosis

Britain’s longest-serving newsreader Alastair Stewart has revealed he is suffering from early onset vascular dementia. The broadcasting legend was given the bombshell diagnosis after telling doctors that he felt agitated ... Read more »

'Great move': Alasdair Gold fully expecting Tottenham to offer £192k-a-week player a new contract soon

Journalist Alasdair Gold has admitted he’ll be very surprised if Tottenham Hotspur don’t offer Son Heung-min a new contract very soon. Gold was speaking on his YouTube channel about Tottenham’s ... Read more »

Minister refuses to express confidence in Wandsworth governor after prison escape

Photograph: Metropolitan Police/PA The UK justice secretary, Alex Chalk, has refused to express confidence in the governor of Wandsworth prison, as he said a full complement of staff were on ... Read more »

‘It’s nuts’: Gary Lineker says someone has to try and sign £40m Newcastle target very soon

Long-term Newcastle United target Scott McTominay has been doing it on the international stage yet again leading Gary Lineker to ponder what’s going on. Scott McTominay opened the scoring for ... Read more »

Everton: Toffees struck gold on their 'important' £20m signing

Everton: Toffees struck gold on their ‘important’ £20m signing Everton have had a testing couple of years in the Premier League, however, the Blues live to fight another day in ... Read more »

‘7/10’, ‘Excellent’: National media very impressed with £35m Liverpool player after yesterday’s performance

Liverpool attacker Cody Gakpo played very well for the Netherlands as they defeated the Republic of Ireland last night. Dutch outlet Football Oranje gave their verdict on the match as ... Read more »

Former rubbish dump in Essex becomes UK’s third largest solar farm

The largest solar farm in Europe to be built on a closed landfill site has begun generating renewable electricity from a former rubbish dump in Essex. The Ockendon solar farm, ... Read more »

Barcelona train crash: 4 killed and 3 fighting for their lives after being hit on tracks

At least four people have been killed after being hit by a train near Barcelona. The victims are believed to have been in a group of seven people who were ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự