Rishi Sunak has vowed to ban American XL bully dogs by the end of the year following a series of attacks.
The prime minister made the promise the day after a man was mauled to death by two dogs – that police have said are suspected to be bully XLs – in Stonnall, Staffordshire. Last weekend, a video of another incident went viral when an 11-year-old girl suffered serious injuries in Birmingham.
On Friday, Ian Price was named by police as the victim of the incident in Stonnall, while a 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
One of the dogs died after being restrained and the other died after an injection was given by a vet, the force said, adding that both were believed to be XL bullies but further tests are being carried out to determine their breed.
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The man who was killed by two dogs in Staffordshire has been named by police as Ian Price, 52.
Price is believed to have been leaving his elderly mother's home when he was set upon by the animals, inflicting fatal injuries that Price succumbed to shortly after being taken to hospital.
Bystanders attempted to help Price, throwing wheelie bins at the dogs with one neighbour using a stick to try to stop the attack.
Following a spate of similar attacks, the government has announced that it will ban the American XL Bully dog by the end of the year, Rishi Sunak has said.
A savage attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham highlights a potential for wildness that dog owners are often keen to deny, says Guardian columnist Emma Brockes
Group of animal charities speaks out against proposed ban
A coalition of animal charities, including the RSPCA and the Kennel Club, said banning American XL bully dogs will not stop attacks.
A spokeswoman for the Dog Control Coalition said: “The recent incidents are deeply distressing and our thoughts are with all those involved and affected.
“The biggest priority for everyone involved is to protect the public — but banning the breed will sadly not stop these types of incidents recurring.
“For 32 years, the Dangerous Dogs Act has focused on banning types of dog and yet has coincided with an increase in dog bites, and the recent deaths show that this approach isn’t working.
“The UK Government must tackle the root issue by dealing with the unscrupulous breeders who are putting profit before welfare, and the irresponsible owners whose dogs are dangerously out of control.”
The coalition said any ban should be based on “robust evidence”, adding that it was “deeply concerned about the lack of data behind this decision and its potential to prevent dog bites”.
The Dog Control Coalition is made up of the RSPCA, Blue Cross, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust, Hope Rescue, Scottish SPCA, the Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association.
American XL bully dogs have been responsible for a spate of attacks, including three in the past week in the west-Midlands, one of which was fatal.
Bystanders tried of fight off dogs with 'wheelie bins' amid fatal attack
Members of the public who attempted to intervene as Ian Price, 52, was set upon by two dogs - believed to be XL Bullies - using wheelie bins to fight them off.
One women, whose daughter Amy witnessed the attack, told Mail Online: "It was a sickening sight for everyone to see. The dogs were XL Bully types and had both gone mad.
"Amy said that lots of people were trying to fight off the dogs by shoving wheelie bins against them."
She added that the incident was so frenzied that the dogs had torn Price's clothes to shreds as they attacked.
In the past two years, the number of fatal dog attacks in the UK has increased dramatically. Between 2001 and 2021 there were an average of 3.3 fatalities per year, but in 2022, 10 people were killed, including four children.
Thousands sign petition to prevent XL Bully ban
More than 36,000 people have signed a petition asking the government not to ban XL Bully dogs following a fatal attack on a man by two dogs believed to belong to the breed.
"I believe that the XL bully is a kind, beautiful natured breed that loves children and people in general, and are very loyal and loving pets," the petition said.
The prime minister moved to ban the breed after a spate of attacks including two in the past week, one of which was fatal.
After another fatal attack, Rishi Sunak has vowed to ban the American Bully XL by the end of the year. It’s not a moment too soon. The breed is still relatively new, but has already taken a horrendous toll in attacks on people and animals. This isn’t because of the owners – it’s because of their genes.
Dogs in fatal attacks thought to be XL Bullies
Both dogs, thought to be XL Bullys, are dead and tests are being carried out to determine their breed, poliice said as they released details of the man killed in the attack.
American XL bully dogs to be banned by end of year (The National)
Watch: Sunak vows to ban XL bully dogs