Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that the American XL Bully breed of dogs would be banned in the UK by the end of the year. The decision comes after a series of attacks involving these dogs. On Thursday this week, two pitbulls killed a 52-year-old man at Staffordshire. Last weekend, a 15-year-old boy was hospitalised after pit bull attack. A 4-year-old boy was also attacked last Monday.
Sunak described the attacks as exhibiting a “pattern of behavior” that is deemed unacceptable and poses a danger to the community, particularly children.
South Africa, where incidents involving pit bulls have also been reported, has seen a wave of public demand for the banning of these dogs. The Sizwe Kupelo Foundation initiated a petition calling for an immediate ban following a tragic incident in Nelson Mandela Bay in 2022, where a 10-year-old child was killed by their family’s two pit bulls.
In April 2023, Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza received a petition with over 139,000 signatures urging the government to ban pit bulls as domestic pets. The petition highlights the risks associated with this breed and the need for increased measures to protect public safety.
While specific details of the UK ban on pit bulls are yet to be finalized, the move reflects that action needs to be taken to address the risks posed by the dog. It is about time for Mzansi to address the problem.