The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

The student news site of Jonathan Alder High School

The Pioneer Press

New UK law banning dogs is doing more harm than good

Adalynne Wilkin
Graphic of banned dogs.

On December 31, 2023, the United Kingdom and Wales implemented a ban on all Xl bully breeds of dogs under the name “The Dangerous Dog Act.” Dogs affected by this act include the American Bulldog, Olde English Bulldogge, Cane Corso, the American Staffordshire Terrier and any other breed of dog crossed with a Pit Bull Terrier. While it’s important to stop dangerous dogs not just in the UK and Wales, but everywhere, this act goes about it in the wrong way. 

This act is not stopping the underground and illegal breeding, trading and fighting of the Xl bully breed of dogs. It is not stopping the unethical treatment of these dogs and it is not stopping the terrible training practices  that typically lead Xl bullies to be aggressive. 

British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak and the rest of the British government had been under pressure to take action after an 11 year old girl was attacked and seriously injured by an Xl bully in Birmingham England according to News 4sa. The decision to add Xl bullied to the list of banned dogs was made after a 52 year old man, Ian Price was brutally attacked and killed by two of his neighbors Xl bullies. Sunak had described these dogs as “a danger to our communities.” Dogs who are a part of the banned dog list in the UK include the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, and Fila Brasileiro. The same requirements that apply to all Xl bullies, apply to these dogs as well. 

“The Dangerous Dog Act” is essentially eradicating all Xl Bully dogs in both the UK and Wales. All except for the dogs whose owners paid and met all requirements to have their dog exempt from this act. 

Requirements include the dog forced to be spayed or neutered, all dogs that are to be exempt must be microchipped, and owners must pay a fee of 92 pounds (or 117 US dollars) all to keep a dog they previously had before the ban was put into place.  

The average cost of getting a dog microchipped in the UK is 15-25 pounds (or 20-31 US dollars). The average cost of getting a male dog neutered can cost from 100-250 pounds (127-318 us dollars) and to get a female spayed can cost from 150-500 pounds (190-636 us dollars). All of which can be very costly from person to person. Xl bully owners have until January 31, 2024 to have their dog exempt from the ban. If the dog is less than one year old on January 31, then they have until December 31, 2024 to have their dog fixed and fully exempt from the ban. 

If a dog is not exempt from the ban then police can seize them and keep them, regardless of whether or not a complaint has been made or if the dog is acting dangerously. Dogs who are taken into police custody are assessed by police, using government set standards to see if the dog falls into a banned category. These standards essentially just boil down to looks and measurements of the dog. If the measurement or looks are close to or resemble that of an Xl bully breed then they will be “humanely” euthanized.  

Humane euthanasia is defined by The Animal Legal and Historical Center as “an act of either killing or permitting the death of a terminally ill or hopelessly injured individual or animal by using a humane, painless method for reasons of mercy.” In some cases it is also humane to euthanize an animal when exhibiting dangerous behaviors. 

Most of the dogs who are being taken into police custody are not showing these dangerous behaviors, therefore this “humane” euthanasia is not humane at all. Owners who don’t wish to go through the exemption process, or who are denied the exemption form will have to put their dog down. The UK and Wales government will compensate the owners of these dogs with 200 pounds (254 USD) to pay for the dog to be euthanized. This is another example of inhumane euthanasia. 

After a dog has been exempt from the ban, they will have to be on a lead and muzzled at all times, including in the owner’s car. 

While dogs should typically be on a lead anyways, mostly for the safety of the dog, not all dogs have to be on a lead. Any dog that doesn’t fit the description of an Xl bully dog is allowed to be unleashed when in public, like when in a park. While muzzles on dogs are not necessarily inhumane, a dog who doesn’t need one should not be wearing one. 

Muzzles are not just for dangerous dogs, in fact plenty of dogs who get put into stressful situations will wear a muzzle for both that dog and other dogs safety. But wearing a muzzle when it is not needed can add extra stress on the dog, which could potentially lead the dog to be a bit more likely to act out, this goes for any dog, not just Xl bullies. 

If an Xl bully is seen in public, not following the lead and muzzle requirements then they will be seized and taken into police custody where they will be assessed and if deemed to fall into a banned category they will be euthanized with the rest of the Xl bullies taken into police hands.

The United Kingdom and Wales are not the only countries who have this ban on Xl bullies. Scotland announced on January 18, 2024 that they will be replicating the same laws the UK and Wales put into place. Other countries have also followed in suit, these countries include Norway, Malta, and Cyprus. 

In the US, there are no federal bans on dog breeds, but some counties and towns have their own

Instead of banning dogs, education of the owner and making sure the dog is properly trained are extremely important. Ensuring the owner of one of these dogs is capable of taking care of an Xl bully is the first step in eliminating dangerous dogs. Prohibiting and really cracking down on dog fights and animal cruelty is the next step.

None of these new rules and regulations surrounding the Xl bully breeds of dogs are getting to the root of the problem: unqualified owners causing aggressiveness in the dogs. Yes, there are dangerous and aggressive Xl bullies out there. They are big dogs with strong bites and lots of muscle. However, any dog can be aggressive in the wrong hands. Instead of banning an entire breed of dog for the irresponsible acts of some owners, take more time to make sure owners are responsible and capable of handling an Xl bully. 

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About the Contributor
Adalynne Wilkin
Adalynne Wilkin, Staff Writer
Addie Wilkin is a junior and second  year journalism staff member. Outside of school her hobbies include 4-H, video games and hanging out with her friends. After high school she plans on attending cosmetology school to become a hairdresser.

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  • K

    KeganFeb 2, 2024 at 10:14 AM

    These breeds are shown time and time again that they are indeed unsafe. The fighting behavior is literally been part of their breeding. It’s a tough problem. Good Article.