The recent debate over banning American bully XL dogs in light of a series of attacks has reignited discussions about dangerous dog breeds. The Dangerous Dogs Act, enacted in 1991, faced scrutiny for its vague criteria and breed-based bans. .
The American bully XL, similar in appearance to pit bulls, is essentially banned already. Suella Braverman’s call for advice on banning this breed may find that it’s unnecessary, but if not, it could result in the euthanization of thousands of dogs, unless they receive exemptions.
The RSPCA has consistently opposed the Dangerous Dogs Act, arguing that it unfairly implicates dogs that haven’t displayed aggressive behavior. The debate surrounding the original legislation was marked by moral panic and class connotations, with arguments like “It’s not the dogs – it’s the owners” suggesting that certain breeds are associated with the wrong type of people.
The American bully XL complicates this debate as some may be inherently predisposed to aggression due to unregulated breeding and size.
Striking a balance in this contentious issue could involve implementing muzzle orders and avoiding immediate euthanasia, allowing for more nuanced judgments regarding a dog’s behavior and upbringing.