PM Rishi Sunak vows to ban dangerous dog breed after attacks in UK
London, Sep 15 (PTI) British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday vowed to ban a dangerous breed of dog known as American XL Bully behind a number of recent attacks, most recently believed to be behind a man’s death this week in Staffordshire.
The British Indian leader issued a video message to say he shared the public’s “horror” over the spate of attacks and that he had ordered urgent work to define and ban the American XL Bully dog breed. The issue has been in the headlines since last week when an 11-year-old girl suffered serious injuries after being attacked in Birmingham by a similar breed.
"The American XL bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children,” said Sunak in his message recorded at 10 Downing Street.
“I share the nation's horror at the recent videos we've all seen. Yesterday we saw another suspected XL bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality. It is clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs, it's a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on,” he said.
Sunak pointed out that under current laws, owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, but he wanted to reassure people that he is urgently working on ways to stop these attacks.
“Today I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts, to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks, with the view to then outlawing it. It is not currently a breed defined in law, so this vital first step must happen fast. We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year,” said Sunak.
“These dogs are dangerous, I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe,” he added.
Members of the public tried to help as the latest victim was attacked by two dogs outside a property in Stonnall, Staffordshire in the West Midlands region, on Thursday afternoon, while police said they stopped some children leaving a nearby primary school for "safety reasons".
The critically injured man was taken to hospital where he was later declared dead.
"Ambulance staff administered advanced life support and advanced trauma care to him at the scene,” a West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesperson said.
“Treatment continued en route to Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he was conveyed by land ambulance for further treatment. Unfortunately, after arrival at the hospital, despite the best efforts it became clear that nothing more could be done to save him and he was confirmed deceased," the spokesperson said.
A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of having dogs dangerously out of control after the incident and an investigation is underway, including to establish the dogs' breed. PTI AK FZH AKJ FZH