Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that American XL bully dogs will be banned by the end of the year.

His words came after it emerged a man died after being attacked by two dogs – suspected to be bully XLs – in Staffordshire.

The Leader has spoken to people on both sides of the argument to explore the views for and against banning the breed.

Mum says "misunderstood" bully dogs are gentle giants when trained right

The Leader: Kavi with Ami's son AlbiKavi with Ami's son Albi (Image: Ami Evans)

Ami Evans, aged 26 and of Wrexham, said she was "heartbroken" after hearing the news of the forthcoming ban.

She has two XL Bully dogs named Kavi and Karma and a 'pocket' (smaller) bully called Freya.

The mum-of-two young boys said the dogs are an important part of her family.
"My eldest son is autistic and uses Kavi as a calm dog," she said.

"He makes a beeline for her and will sit there with her head on his lap and then get up and go away when he's calmed down.

"Bullys are an absolute pleasure to have. They are as good as gold.

"If you put in the time with any dog, they will give you 100 per cent back.

"A lot of people get a puppy and expect it to do all of these things you want it to do but don't train it; then they're barking, pulling on lead and nipping people, which is a nightmare.

"Every single day, I have an hour of training with my dogs."

On the Prime Minister's announcement, she continued: "It was absolutely gutting - how do you tell a child their best friend isn't going to be there anymore?

The Leader: Kavi with Ami's son AlbiKavi with Ami's son Albi (Image: Ami Evans)

"These dogs aren't just dogs to us; they are a massive part of this family."

Mrs Evans said she believes dogs like hers are often pre-judged on their appearance, not their behaviour.

"I take Kavi on the school run every day and I have never had an issue.

"But the looks and comments we get from mums at school and other people round here is horrendous.

"They are completely misunderstood dogs."

Farmer who lost sheep to dog attack speaks in support of ban

The Leader: Paul JonesPaul Jones (Image: Paul Jones)

Paul Jones, of Rhos Farm in Wrexham, lost 22 of his pregnant sheep when a pair of XL Bulldogs escaped their home and came onto his farm on March 6 this year.

A further 48 were injured and more than 50 lambs were lost due to stillbirth and abortion.

Speaking of the ban, Mr Jones said: "After seeing what happened here, and hearing the recent reports, I would support banning this breed without a doubt.

"I understand it's not always about the breed, but this type of dog is sometimes being taken up by the wrong sort of owners; it's being picked for its aggression.

"Of course, any dog can do damage. But if you had for example a sheepdog attacking sheep, it would get tired.

The Leader: One of Paul Jones' injured sheepOne of Paul Jones' injured sheep (Image: UGC)

"But these things (XL bully dogs) - the power in them - they attack the head and face and they do maximum damage.

"A child would only have a few seconds.

"After seeing what happened in Staffordshire, I believe more and more that I was very lucky I wasn't mauled."

Animal rescue expects declining interest in adopting bully dogs

Owain Horton, manager at North Clwyd Animal Rescue near Holywell, told the Leader: "We do get a large quantity of dogs of that type - they're normally strays that come from the local authority.

"And we did have a lot of interest in them previously, but I think that's going to stop.

"They are generally harder to home because of their size.

"I work with dogs of this type daily and they're normally very friendly and boisterous.

"They need experienced owners; like any big dog.

"I think other laws need to be brought in before banning them.

"For example, breeding needs to be regulated - it's breeding and education that's the problem."

Mr Horton said the organisation has had a lot of calls from people who have adopted XL Bully dogs who now don't know where they stand.

"Obviously some have been ringing up wanting to rehome theirs now.

"We don't know what's going to happen. We are monitoring the situation and we will update our adopters as soon as we know anything."

And here's what some of our readers on Facebook had to say on the issue...

Patrick McTaggart said: "It's not the dog. It's the way you bring them up."
Richard Harris said: "As an XL Bully owner I do feel for all the poor families - it's awful.

"But also think of all the responsible XL bully owners who have raised a loving, kind, gentle dog. 

"Will banning one breed stop irresponsible people owning powerful dogs and training those dogs to be aggressive? The only answer to that question is no, it will not.

"So do we just ban every single breed that is capable of injuring a human - or do we actually get to the route cause which is clear for anyone with an open mind to see is humans, backstreet breeders and poor ownership. 

"These kind of people need to be banned from ownership, breeding or even being involved in any processes involving these or any breed of dog."

Neil Sanger said: "We shouldn’t have dogs like that in our country."

Sophie Thackaberry said: "Personally don't think they need to be banned.

"I know there are some that are aggressive but not all of them are. Some owners look after them and teach them right from wrong.

"All dogs can attack people all dogs can get aggressive. I work in a pet store and have had various XL bullys in the store and they've been the softest dogs.

"I've also had dogs that have been vicious that ain't a bully breed. Sometimes people need to look at the owners before blaming the dog.

"I understand people have their views on them but personally I don't think they need to be banned. If need be muzzle them and neuter them."

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