Owner of XL Bullys that mauled father to death was spoken to, cops say

Owner of XL Bullys that mauled father to death was spoken to, cops say

September 16, 2023

EXCLUSIVE: Owner of two XL Bullys that mauled hero father, 52, to death was spoken to on two more occasions over his out-of-control dogs, police say

  • Ian Price has been named as the man killed in horrific Bully XL attack in Stonnall
  • The dogs’ owner, 30, is currently being questioned by Staffordshire Police  
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT. Plan comes after spate of attacks in recent days

The owner of two XL Bullys that mauled a 52-year-old father to death had been spoken to on several occasions over his out-of-control dogs, according to the police.

Father-of-two Ian Price, from Stonnall, Staffordshire, was killed by the two dogs which jumped out of a neighbour’s window yards from a primary school on Thursday afternoon. He reportedly died defending his elderly mother from the animals. 

While Staffordshire Police is currently questioning a 30-year-old man from South Staffordshire, they said they are ‘aware’ of previous police interactions with the owner of the killer dogs after they were reported to be off the leash on one occasion, and mounted a dog on another.

‘On 14 January 2023, we received a report involving concern around two XL Bully dogs who were off their lead in a field in Stonnall,’ they said in a statement.

‘We went to owner’s address and gave words of advice around keeping the dogs under control whilst in a shared public place. The owner was co-operative and engaged positively with officers. 

Father-of-two Ian Price (pictured), from Stonnall, Staffordshire, was killed by the two dogs which jumped out of a neighbour’s window yards from a primary school on Thursday afternoon. He reportedly died defending his elderly mother from the animals

These are the dogs believed to have been involved in the attack, according to locals. One of the animals died while being restrained; the other was given a lethal injection by a vet

Another picture of the dogs alleged to have attacked Mr Price, according to eyewitnesses. Locals say the attack was so violent that the animals tore Mr Price’s clothes from his body

‘Both dogs were in the address at the time and appeared to be calm. They did not show any signs of aggression towards officers.

‘On 30 March 2023, we then received reports that two XL Bully dogs had mounted another dog in Stonnall.

‘No injuries were caused to the dog or anyone who was in the area at the time. No complaints were made in relation to the incident and no offences were identified.

‘The owner of the dog was spoken to by officers around making sure they are under control at all times.’

The police said the Professional Standards Department found that ‘the material does not meet the threshold for a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct’.

A expert on canines has indicated to police that the killer dogs are XL Bullys, but ‘DNA testing is required for absolute confirmation of the breed,’ police said.

Witnesses said the dogs entered Mr Price’s mother’s garden through a hedge before ‘setting’ on him in an attack said to have lasted up to 20 minutes. 

Staffordshire Police said they are ‘aware’ of previous police interactions with the owner of the killer dogs (the dogs believed to have killed Ian Price pictured above)

Witnesses said the dogs entered Mr Price’s mother’s garden through a hedge before ‘setting’ on Mr Price (pictured) in an attack said to have lasted up to 20 minutes 

Ian Price, pictured with Mike Tindall, is said to have stepped in to see the dogs off after they entered his mother’s garden

Ian Price, pictured with Claire Balding, was killed in a horrifying attack that lasted up to 20 minutes

Police on the scene in Main Street, Stonnall. Neighbours said that the dogs emerged from a neighbour’s home before mauling Mr Price

The dogs bit Mr Price and ripped the clothes from his body leaving him dying in a pool of blood in his boxer shorts in Thursday afternoon’s horror attack just feet from his home. 

Mr Price’s heartbroken next door neighbour Matt told of his ‘anger’ over the brutal attack and the loss of ‘such a lovely guy’ and a fellow Aston Villa football fan.

Matt, 43, who declined to be fully identified, told MailOnline yesterday: ‘This was an accident waiting to happen but it could have been avoided.

‘The dogs should never have been allowed to run free to roam the streets and terrorise the neighbourhood.

‘The same dogs attacked a middle-aged woman out walking her little dog six weeks to eight or so ago. They should have been taken away from the owner or put down.

‘They are killer dogs, ferocious, with huge powerful jaws, and it is such a shame and makes me so angry that it takes someone to be mauled and pass away for action to be taken.’

Mr Price, from Stonnall in Staffordshire, was pronounced dead by medics despite efforts to treat him in an air ambulance

The announcement came after a man was mauled to death by two dogs in Stonnall, Staffordshire – yards from a local primary school

Mr Price with former footballer-turned manager Paul Ince. The local businessman was well known in Stonnall and his wife is a teaching assistant at the nearby school

Armed police on the scene in Stonnall, Staffordshire, after the fatal attack on Mr Price

An armed police officer carrying a rifle is seen patrolling the cordon in Stonnall where Mr Price was brutally killed by the two animals

American XL Bully dogs will be banned in the UK by the end of the year

Matt, a parts supervisor for Merseyside-based Stellantis car plant, told how he had confronted the dog’s owner who lives opposite his home after the previous attack on the woman.

Yesterday Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced that XL Bully dogs would be banned before the end of the year – two days after a ten-year-old boy was mauled by an out-of-control animal as he played football.

In a video announcement posted to his X account, Mr Sunak said the breed would be banned following a ‘pattern of behaviour [that] cannot go on’.

READ MORE: Shocking moment crazed dog attacks ‘terrified’ boy, 10, as he plays football outside his home is revealed and father says: ‘This should not be happening to our kids’ 

The breed was linked to six of the 10 fatal dog attacks in the UK in 2022, and has been involved in at least five fatalities this year. 

The Stonnall incident saw air ambulance, paramedics and police officers, including armed response units, called to Main Street in the village shortly before 3.15pm. Despite the best efforts of medics on the way to hospital Mr Price, 52, was later pronounced dead.

Following Mr Price’s devastating death the owner of the XL Bully’s 39-year-old Harrison Pettitt has been arrested on suspicion of being in charge of dog’s dangerously out of control and more latterly on suspicion of murder.

He remains in police custody and his home opposite the Price family house and right next door to the victim’s elderly mother’s remains sealed off as a crime scene.

Matt, who had last spoken to Mr Price over the garden fence on Tuesday night, about their shared soccer passion for Villa, recalled: ‘We are both fans and I am a season ticket holder and go to all the games but Ian didn’t.

‘I always gave him the lowdown. We last spoke two days before he sadly died and he said they lost the last chance but hope they play better against Crystal Palace at home on Saturday.

‘We’d often chat about Villa while I was mowing me lawn. I cannot believe he’s gone in such a cruel way and we’ll never have those conversations again.

‘I feel desperately sad and angry that he should not have been allowed to die in this wat.

‘Complaints were made to the authorities after the last attack but no one cared, nothing was done to apprehend the dogs or the owner.’

Matt told how he confronted the man but he closed down saying: ‘No, no, no, I’m not speaking about it.’

‘The dogs should have been taken from his property.’

He told how the woman had been chased by the fearsome Bullies whist walking her small dog.

Describing the ordeal, he said: ‘Both dogs were allowed to run free and chased after her and her dog. She ran screaming her head off onto the shop nearby and was taken, traumatised, into the back of the store.

Just a day before the fatal attack in Stonnall, a ten-year-old boy was attacked outside his house as he played football in the street

Mohammed Sami Raza yelled for help as the dog clamped its jaws around his forearm, leaving him with injuries to his arms, legs and neck

The schoolboy at Walsall Manor Hospital where he is still undergoing treatment for his injuries

Mohammed with his dad, Gohar Siddique, who has called on the owners of bigger dogs to ensure they are secured and kept under control

‘She and her pet were being comforted and suddenly the Bullies broke through the motion-sensor door and raced around inside looking for her.

‘They were ferocious and had to booted outside. The owner, who I think is a scrap merchant and has been living in the village for many months, was contacted and came to the shop to retrieve his dogs.

‘He grabbed them and calmed them down, he is the master and under his control they behaved like little CiaoCiaio (chow chow) dogs. But they are killer dogs.’

Matt, who was away on a business trip in Merseyside at the time of the fatal attack on his neighbour, told how he was alerted to the horror by a phone call from his wife.

He said: ‘I was told just four guys had been trying to beat the two dogs off. One of the would-be rescuers later told me ‘After what I have seen today I won’t be able to eat or sleep for the next weeks.’

‘When I can’t back from working in Liverpool I couldn’t get to my house as it was blocked off by police.

‘A sergeant finally led me through the crime scene and said ‘Please don’t look to the right, there is so much debris after dogs ran amock and killed a man.’

A resident living near the scene of yesterday’s attack told the BBC that in March, a woman and her dog had been seen being chased into a shop by the same two dogs which had killed Ian Price.

‘It was carnage – the two dogs were after her dog,’ the local, who wished to remain anonymous, said. ‘I think they had taken a few nips at him.’

‘The woman was hysterical but she was unhurt,’ they added.

The resident said police had been called to the incident, which also saw customers jumping over the shop’s counter for protection, and the dogs’ owner had been given a caution.

Another resident, David Morrell, said: ‘This morning, to find out that two dogs have attacked a guy in the street is just totally shocking.’

A witness also told The Sun: ‘It was so awful I can barely talk about it. He was mauled to death and it was just horrendous.

‘One brave man got a big stick and was hitting the dogs and trying to get them off but the dogs just took no notice.

‘Eventually he got one of the dogs off the man and the other ran back through the hedge to its home – but by then it had been going on for 15 to 20 minutes.’

Neighbour Amanda Ward said her student nurse daughter saw Mr Price being mauled two death by the two ‘devil’ dogs.

Amy Bridgewater, 20, described the horrifying attack to her mum, which has left her traumatised.

Mrs Ward, 55, said her daughter, a third-year student nurse, raced to the scene from her home yesterday afternoon after hearing ‘ear-piercing screams’ outside.

Mrs Ward told MailOnline: ‘Amy is still in a state of shock by what she witnessed. It was absolutely horrific and has shaken the whole village to the core.’

Mrs Ward, recounting the terrifying ordeal, explained: ‘Amy heard ear-piercing screams and ran out of that house. She saw the white dog covered in blood and wagging its tail with the other dog nearby.

‘They had ripped the clothes off the poor man and he was lying on the ground with just his boxer shorts on and covered in blood.

‘It was a sickening sight for everyone to see. The dogs were XL Bully types and had both gone mad.

Ana Paun was walking to the shops with her 18-year-old sister when an XL Bully leapt up at her from a bus shelter in Birmingham last Saturday

Footage of the savage dog attack in Birmingham that left Ana, and two men, injured

‘Amy said that lots of people were trying to fight off the dogs by shoving wheelie bins against them.

‘The man was lying on the ground, he looked unconscious in just his boxer shorts. The dogs had torn his clothes to shreds, ripping them off his body.’

Mrs Ward added that Mr Price is believed to have been visiting his elderly mother who lives opposite the family home and whom ‘he visited every day.’

It is understood he was savaged by the runaway dogs as he was leaving his mum’s home.

Mr Price’s wife is a classroom assistant at the nearby St Peter’s Primary School which was put into lockdown following the attack. The couple have two children – a son and daughter both at university.

Mrs Ward said: ‘Ian and his family are well known in the village and what happened is a tragedy and everyone is deeply shocked.

‘My daughter knows his wife and is extremely upset by what she saw. Amy would have tried to have administered first aid but by the time she got there it was too late.

‘It was a horrible scene for Amy and other people to witness. It is bad enough to be attacked by one dog, not two.

‘I am so thankful that the Prime Minister has finally agreed to ban these killer dogs. He must make sure we get rid of these horrendous dogs.

‘As a third-year student nurse, Amy is allowed to go out and help administer first aid but she is told she does not have to help in dog attack situations.’

St Peter’s CE Primary Academy, close to the scene of Thursday’s dog attack in Stonnall, issued a statement after the news that a man had died.

The school said: ‘Staff at St Peter’s CE Primary Academy were notified around 3.25pm of an incident on Main Street.

‘The academy immediately sent a text through to all parents to notify them of the incident, with leaders and teachers advising pupils and parents to return to the academy site.

‘The academy gates remained closed until further notification was received by the police; it was safe to reopen the site.

‘The actions and behaviours of pupils, staff and parents during this incident was greatly recognised by the academy.

‘St Chad’s Academies Trust, who operates St Peter’s CE Primary Academy, continues to support the pupils and staff along with colleagues from Lichfield Diocese, Schools Advisory Service and local clergy in providing as much support as it can to the school community at present. The academy has remained open.

‘Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, pupils, parents and staff at the academy who are hurting from this news.’

The fatality in Stonnall is the third dog attack in less than a week across the West Midlands

The attack is the third to happen in the region in a week, after an 11-year-old girl was also mauled in Birmingham last week.

In his video, Mr Sunak said: ‘The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children.

‘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’s clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs: it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.

‘While owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, I want to reassure people that we are urgently working on ways to stop these attacks and protect the public.

‘Today, I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks with a view to then outlawing it.

READ MORE: Dog attacks claim yet another victim: Man dies after being mauled by two dogs in latest horrific attack as boy, 10, is savaged just streets away and girl, 11, is set upon in Birmingham amid growing calls for fresh crackdown on dangerous animals 

‘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.’

Mr Sunak added: ‘These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe.’

The mother of a 10-year-old boy who was mauled to death by an XL Bully said she was lost for words following the announcement.

Emma Whitfield’s son Jack Lis died after he was savaged by the animal, called Beast, on 8 November 2021 in Caerphilly.

Brandon Hayden, 19, and Amy Salter, 29, both of the Welsh town, were jailed for four-and-a-half years and three years respectively after being convicted of being in charge of the dangerously out of control dog.

Ms Whitfield, quoting the PM’s video, tweeted: ‘I’m sobbing. I’m sat on my own sobbing. I don’t even have words right now.’

Downing Street denied the Government has taken too long to ban American XL bully dogs.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said work had begun on outlawing the breed before the fatal attack on Thursday. 

He said: ‘The work was already under way before yesterday certainly, but clearly we have seen a spate of horrendous incidents and whilst we recognise there are a range of views on this issue, the Prime Minister is of the view that it is right to act. Firstly to define this breed, and then to ban it.’

Asked whether ministers had ‘dragged their heels’ on commencing work to outlaw the breed, the spokesman added: ‘I wouldn’t accept that. I think we’ve obviously been doing some policy work on this and you heard from the Home Secretary recently about how to take this forward. 

‘Clearly this breed of dog isn’t defined in law so it’s right to take the time to consider the best way to put an end to these horrendous attacks that we’re seeing.’

The PM’s video alluded to the fatal attack in Stonnall on Thursday, which took place yards from a local primary school.

Mr Sunak said his ‘thoughts are with the victim and their families’ after the incident, which both he and police have said was suspected to involve two XL Bully-type dogs.

Speaking to broadcasters in Downing Street on Friday, Mr Sunak said the American XL bully is ‘clearly a danger to communities’ as he laid out the plan for banning the dog type by the end of the year.

Asked whether there was a risk other dogs such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier could be caught up in the ban, the Conservative Party leader said animal experts and police would work to ‘accurately define the breed of concern’.

He added: ‘It is right we take urgent action to stop these attacks and protect the public.’

Ministers have been ordered to convene a panel of experts and police chiefs to define the XL Bully breed – with a view to banning it under the Dangerous Dogs Act (file picture)

Police standing guard outside a house in Stonnall, Staffordshire on Friday. A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and of being in charge of dangerously out of control dogs, suspected to be XL Bullies

Jack Lis, 10, died after he was savaged to death by a Bully XL in Caerphilly in November 2021. His mother, Emma Whitfield, who has campaigned for the dogs to be banned, said she was lost for words following the PM’s announcement

Sharing Mr Sunak’s announcement video, Ms Whitfield said she was ‘sobbing’ at the news

Metropolitan Police data shows how the American Bully has become the most seized dog in London in recent years

One of the dogs involved died after it was restrained, while the other was administered with a lethal injection by a vet. Police sources say that both animals were XL Bully-type dogs. 

A 30-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and of being in charge of dangerously out of control dogs, and was interviewed by police, who have been granted a custody extension on Friday evening.

This gives detectives another 10 hours to question the man. 

Superintendent Tracy Meir said: ‘I would like to offer my condolences to the loved ones of the man who tragically lost his life in this horrendous dog attack. We are continuing to support them at this incredibly difficult time.

‘Detectives continue to investigate and we have taken statements, viewed CCTV and carried out house-to-house enquiries in the local area but are keen to speak to anyone with information.’

Less than a day before, emergency services had rushed to Bentley Drive in Walsall following reports that a 10-year-old boy had been savaged by a dog running free in the street.

The brown canine was captured on CCTV running past Mohammed Sami Raza as he played in the street at around 7.30pm on Wednesday – before suddenly turning and pouncing on him.

In horrific footage released by the family, the boy can be seen struggling for an agonising 30 seconds as the dog tugs at his arm and refuses to let go.

Anguished family members then rush outside, trying to coax the animal away. It is only after more than a minute of being struck that the vicious animal eventually loosens its grip. 

A grievous close-up of the boy’s injuries shows horrific gouge marks in his right forearm, as he lies on a hospital bed wrapped in blood-covered sheets. He is still at Walsall Manor Hospital awaiting surgery.

Gohar Siddique, the boy’s father, shared the awful clip because he wants to raise awareness, saying the phone call he received to tell him about the attack was one ‘no father wants to get’. While the breed of the dog in the video is unknown, he urged owners to keep their pets locked up.

The 36-year-old factory worker and dad-of-four said: ‘You just never expect this to happen to your own child. He was just playing football in the street.

‘He has very bad injuries and is still awaiting surgery now. He is being very brave but it has been traumatic for the family. It was terrifying.

‘I just want to make sure this doesn’t happen to other people. This should not be happening to young children and its happened three times in our region this week.

‘If it were my two-year-old son was outside he would not be alive. If nobody had noticed this attack when they did then maybe Mohammed would be too.

‘It was just relentless. The dog would not let go. It was only when the passing taxi driver smacked it really hard that it finally stopped.

‘He must have been terrified. It’s hard to watch the video but I just want to make others aware. These dog attacks are happening far too often.

‘People need to make sure they have big dogs locked away. These can be dangerous animals in the wrong hands.’

Wayne Stevens (left), 51, was fatally attacked by an unknown breed of dog in April. His brother Gary (right), 54, has pleaded guilty to being in charge of a ‘dangerously out of control’ animal

The number of fatal dog attacks in the UK have soared in recent years – hitting a record high in 2022

A 60-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of possessing a dog dangerously out-of-control and causing injury.

She was later released with a caution and voluntarily gave up the dog to be ‘humanely destroyed’, West Midlands Police said.

And in the third attack in the West Midlands in less than a week, an 11-year-old girl was among three people injured after an out-of-control XL Bully-Staffordshire bull terrier cross embarked on a chaotic spree of violence in Birmingham.

What is an American Bully XL and what makes it so dangerous? 

American bullies are a relatively new breed, having originated in the 1980s. 

They are mixed breed bulldogs, typically American pitbull terriers crossed American, English and Olde English bulldogs. 

Despite their relative popularity in the UK, they are not officially registered as a breed by the UK Kennel Club, making it difficult to know exactly how many are in the country. 

They are seen as ‘status symbols’ and are often purchased for their intimidating looks. 

Though the bully XL is the most common, the dogs can also be bred with mastiffs and other larger dogs to make them bigger, XXL or even XXXL. 

Controversial and illegal practices such as ear cropping are also carried out to make them appear more intimidating. 

The males can weigh between 70 and 130 pounds of muscle bone and have enormous strength. 

The ‘status symbol’ nature of the dogs has seen them become something of a weapon, purchased by people who want a thuggish and scary looking dog. 

Despite their lack of official certification, there is also a booming market with puppies regularly sold on Facebook and through places like Gumtree for anywhere between £500 and £3,000. 

However, experts are at pains to warn of their potentially dangerous nature, especially if their aggression is encouraged. 

They descend from bull-baiting dogs and if they aren’t trained properly then their aggression could surface.   

This could pose a real threat to humans, particularly children, and has been seen in several shocking recent deaths involving the dog.  

Ana Paun had been walking home from buying sweets with her sister when the dog leapt up at her from a bus stop on Saturday September 9, before it savaged two men in the forecourt of a nearby petrol station.

The PM’s announcement came amid multiple fresh reports on Friday of XL Bully-type dogs attacking children across the country.

Four children were injured after being attacked by family dogs in incidents in Yorkshire. Among those injured was a 15-year-old girl who was hospitalised by an XL Bully last weekend.

South Yorkshire Police said it is currently receiving between 140 and 185 calls a month for out-of-control dogs causing injury or panic, reports the Mirror.

Dog Legislation Officer PC Paul Jameson said a 15-year-old girl was hospitalised after being attacked by an XL Bully and is urging people to take greater care with their animals, and to report concerns they have about dangerous pets.

Mr Jameson said: ‘Nationally, and within South Yorkshire, we are seeing an increase in dangerous dog incidents and the severity of the risk they pose to members of the public.

‘We are not only urging parents to think about their own dogs and their children’s behaviour around them, but to also report concerns you may have around dogs in the community, especially where vulnerable people live.’ 

And on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police confirmed it was probing a fresh attack on a four-year-old child involving a ‘grey coloured pitbull type dog’.

The animal is said to have bitten the child on the leg during the incident at Hermit Road Park in East London at around 6.18pm on September 11, before turning on the boy’s father and attempting to bite him.

Its owner is then said to have called off the animal, before fleeing the scene. The boy was taken to a hospital in East London, where his condition was described as ‘not life threatening’.

Anyone with information on the attack is asked to contact the Met quoting reference 6646 of September 11.

Elsewhere in London, officers in Barnsbury said on Friday afternoon that they had seized three dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act after the animals were ‘dangerously out of control’.

Posting from the @MPSBarnsbury account, the Met tweeted: ‘These dogs were dangerously out of control; two of them killed several other pets, while the third attacked and bit a man who was trying to protect his own dog.’

Meanwhile, a man has admitted being in charge of a dangerous dog that killed his brother in an attack in Derby earlier this year.

Gary Stevens’ pet fatally attacked 51-year-old Wayne Stevens at a house in Cameron Road, Normanton, Derby, at around 5.50am on April 22.

At a hearing at Derby Crown Court, Stevens, 54, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act of being the person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control causing injury resulting in death.

The dog was ‘destroyed at the scene’ due to ‘presenting a risk to officers and the public’, Derbyshire Police said at the time, but its breed was not mentioned during the hearing.

Dog behaviour expert Stan Rawlinson says he ‘wouldn’t go near’ an XL Bully and says the animal’s cross-bred nature makes it difficult to define

Prosecutor Julia King told the court: ‘I would argue that this was high culpability.

‘I would argue that the behaviour witnessed by a number of witnesses can be relied upon to inform the court as to the circumstances which in fact led to the death.’

Stevens, in jeans and a blue jacket, sat silently in the dock looking forward throughout.

His barrister Tony Stanford said: ‘Clearly this was an extremely upsetting incident for him to witness and be a part of.

‘He tried to pull the dog off his brother, to save his brother.

‘He bears considerable psychological guilt.’

Adjourning proceedings, Judge Shaun Smith KC said: ‘You have pleaded guilty to a very serious offence.

‘Prison is the most likely option, it is just a question of how long.

‘But I will give you bail in the meantime, so you can put your affairs in order.’

Stevens, of Cameron Road, will be sentenced at the same court on November 3.

Campaigners have been calling for a ban on XL Bullies amid claims that they are involved in an increasing number of attacks on people and other animals.

The cross-breed has become the most seized in London, according to official Metropolitan Police data, surpassing other dogs such as German Shepherds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and pitbulls.

Concurrently, the number of fatal dog attacks in the UK has risen to record levels in recent years.

The breed – a mix of American pitbull terriers crossed with bulldogs – is beloved by a number of celebrities, including rapper Drake, but in the UK are believed to be the work of poor-quality breeding.

Dog behaviour expert Stan Rawlinson previously expressed concerns over whether the XL Bully could be banned because it isn’t defined as a breed.

He said: ‘XL Bully dogs are very reactive. They’re like the old Roman dogs of war that attacked Britain and helped forge an empire across the continent. 

‘More people are going to die unless we do something about it. 

‘They aren’t an official breed, it’s impossible to track them. The American Pitbull has been banned since 1991 but they are still coming in. That dog is the starting point for the XL Bully and more are being brought in every day.’

The exact number of XL Bully dogs in the UK is unclear as the Kennel Club doesn’t officially recognise the breed.

Criminal defence lawyer Rhianna Tsiattalou, of Stokoe Partnership Solicitors, believes that the cross-bred nature of the dogs could make any ban difficult to enforce.

She said: ‘While legislation can be black and white, the cross-bred nature of these dogs means that even if this ban comes into force, it would be a challenge to enforce it in every case.

‘If the data available to the government and experts is that these dogs are, in fact, inherently dangerous, then Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act (requiring owners to keep dogs under control) will not go far enough to protect the public.’

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