Assistant Chief Constable Dan Thorpe, from South Yorkshire Police says he wants to continue to raise concerns about the dog breed following the recent fatality in Staffordshire and a recent attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham. The force said it has seen the ‘horrifying capability’ of the breed with children as young as two being injured by the dogs.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised to ban American XL bully dogs by the end of the year following a series of attacks. He said: ““It is clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs, it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.”
And it is a message that has been supported by ACC Thorpe, who 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.”
A statement from South Yorkshire Police added: “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.”