UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a ban on the American “XL Bully” breed after a series of deadly attacks by the dogs rocked the country. But some pro-pitbull activists are accusing the move of being a result of “dog racism.”
The American XL Bully, a variation of the American pitbull terrier, was first bred in the 1990s with the intention being more powerful than previous pitbull crosses. The pitbull terrier has been banned in the UK since the Dangerous Dogs Act was introduced into law in 1991. However, 75% of owners of the pitbulls refused to register their dogs.
According to the Telegraph, over half of XL Bullies in the UK are descendants of one dog which had been bred in Los Angeles known as “Killer Kimbo.” Other dogs that have been repeatedly bred include “Unstoppable Juggernaut,” “The Joker,” and “EKG’s Scarface.”
Multiple deadly attacks have occurred from XL Bullies in recent weeks, including two dogs that attacked and killed a 52-year-old man who was protecting his mother from them, and an attack that resulted in the mauling of an 11-year-old girl and two men in Birmingham.
75% of all fatal dog attacks in the UK over the past 3 years have been attributed to the breed.
In an announcement on Friday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the XL Bully as a “danger to our communities, particularly our children,” adding that it was “clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs; it’s a pattern of behaviour, and it cannot go on.”
Sunak confirmed that the government would first define the XL Bully in law, and then outlaw it under the Dangerous Dogs Act, in order to “stop these attacks and protect the public,” all of which would happen by the end of the year.
However, proponents of pitbulls declared that the move by Sunak amounted to dog racism.
“Plain and simple. You see a shape of dog [sic] and jump to conclusions irrespective of the individual dogs [sic] behaviour,” wrote Hector Crosbie on X (formerly Twitter). “It’s wrong. Responsible and innocent owners and dogs are likely to be the people who will lose most with this approach.”
Bully Watch, an anti-dangerous dog campaign group, even discovered that some advocates of the Bully XL have been claiming that the recent publicised attacks are actually fake, with “crisis actors” being deployed in a “masonic hoax.”
Unsurprisingly, “dog racism” began to trend on the social media site, with other users widely mocking the concept.
The accusations of “racism” against pitbulls being thrown at their opponents by pro-pitbull advocates is not a new phenomenon. The subreddit r/BanPitbulls has been forced to include a disclaimer on their FAQ page that “dog breeds and races are not the same.”
The disclaimer reads: “Dog breeds are the result of generations of intensive artificial selection by human beings. We, as humans, have specifically chosen what kinds of appearances and behaviors we want to see in specific breeds of dogs … There is a reason why a Border Collie will naturally start herding ducklings or playing children, even if it was never taught to herd. It is for the same reason that pit bull type dogs have a natural inclination towards fighting: we have bred in instinctual behaviour in dogs on a genetic level. Human behaviour, meanwhile, is more dependent upon culture and circumstances.”
GB News also noted that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, a long-term campaigner against the Dangerous Dogs Act for similarly believing that dogs were being legislated against only because of their “appearance,” would not insure pitbulls, and were accused of “rank hypocrisy” for doing so.
Some of those breeds included the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Irish Staffordshire Blue Bull Terrier, Irish Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier. No claims are permitted for any dogs that are “mixed or crossbred with any of these breeds.”