Yorkshire Police chiefs have expressed concerns over the increasing number of American Bully XL dog-related incidents in the UK.
Assistant Chief Constable Dan Thorpe of South Yorkshire Police said that American Bully XL dogs were “disproportionately represented.“
The authority reported that dog-related incidents doubled in number in 5 years.
“In 2018, we saw 77 of these incidents and have already seen 180 in the first six months of this year,” Thorpe added.
The American XL Bully, which is not a banned breed in the UK, has accounted for 25% of all the dogs seized by the police since January 2022.
According to South Yorkshire Police, this canine breed has been responsible for a number of recent fatal dog attacks in the UK.
The police also report that a total of 89 dogs had to be terminated for public safety.
“There is a harsh reality to this. We have had incidents in South Yorkshire where XL Bully dogs have caused serious injury to children and adults,” Thorpe said.
“A woman in South Yorkshire bought two XL Bully dogs, believing them to be gentle giants. Those dogs turned on her in her home and caused fatal injuries.”
South Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr. Alan Billings, said, “These lockdown puppies have now grown into mature dogs, and we are seeing the consequences.”
He added that many people had bought dogs for the first time during the pandemic despite lacking experience and training.
“There are certain breeds that should not be placed in homes with children due to their unpredictability and their predisposed nature to suddenly turn and become aggressive.”
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the charity Dog Trust claims that “no breed of dog is more likely to be aggressive than another,” according to research.
“There is no evidence the reported increase in dog attacks is down to one particular breed.”
The charity requests the law for a “preventative, breed-neutral and evidence-based” approach, allowing “early intervention” and “focus on the prevention” of dog-related incidents.
According to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, “We take the issue of dangerous dogs and fatal dog attacks seriously and make sure enforcement measures are fully utilized.”