While I recognise the range of views about this sensitive and importance issue, the Government has a responsibility to maintain public safety. XL Bully dogs are large, muscular animals which can also be unpredictable and uncontrollable, as well as highly protective to their owners and aggressive to others. There has been an increase in dog attacks in recent years, including those causing injuries and fatalities, with the XL Bully being disproportionately involved in this rise. As a result, Ministers have taken decisive action to add XL Bully breed types to the list of breeds prohibited by the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
I know that a group of experts was convened to define the physical characteristics of the breed type. This included representatives from the police, local authorities, devolved administrations and animal welfare experts. The definition of the XL Bully breed provides clear assessment criteria for owners and enforcement authorities. Dog owners should use this official definition to check if their dog is an XL Bully.