Mother calls on govt to go much further on XL bully ban

Friday, Sep 22, 2023

LONDON: The mother of a 10-year-old boy killed by an American XL bully dog has called on the Government to go much further than just banning the breed.

Emma Whitfield, 32, said the Government needs to target backstreet breeders and irresponsible dog owners if the proposed ban is to work. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the XL bully would be added to the list of prohibited breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act following a spate of recent attacks.

Ms Whitfield’s son Jack Lis was attacked in Caerphilly, South Wales, two years ago by an XL bully dog, which was named Beast.

Since her son’s death, Ms Whitfield has campaigned for responsible dog ownership, but after hearing about further attacks by XL bully dogs called for the breed to be banned.“Banning the dog at the moment will help and putting restrictions on them will prevent these type of attacks,” she told the PA news agency. “But, in the long term, if backyard breeders still exist, they are going to create a new breed and we could find ourselves in a few years in the same place. “It could be a whole lot worse.

“This is why the Government cannot stop at a ban, they need to stop the breeders who are abusing the system. “With backyard breeders, a lot of it is money and how much they can make.”

She added: “A ban is not enough and the issue runs much deeper, and if the Government doesn’t tackle that then we are going to be in the same place in a couple of years’ time.”

Ms Whitfield said she cried when she heard that the Prime Minister planned on adding the XL bully to the list of prohibited dogs. “I saw the news within minutes and I just cried because finally something is getting done,” she said. “I have never tried to say that every single XL bully is bad and there will be responsible owners who look after their dogs.

“There are a few owners that are abusing the dogs and abusing the system, and we are seeing increased attacks from this breed. “If it is for status, I would say stop. You don’t need that kind of status and you don’t need to prove your ego with that kind of dog.

“If people loved their dog as much as they claim to do, then they should never have allowed them to do those things in the first place. “A ban is the product of what those bad people have created.”Gail Jones, 64, whose mother Shirley Patrick, 83, was killed by an XL bully in December last year in Caerphilly, welcomed the Government ban.

“This is what I wanted more than anything. Not for the dogs to be destroyed, which a lot of people seem to think is going to happen,” she said.

“These dogs are going to phased out, so in 10 years there won’t be any more XL bullies. “Some people say there are no bad dogs and only bad owners, which is not true.”