Britain Accused Of 'Dog Racism' For Trying To Ban American XL Bully Dogs

September 15th, 2023 - 12:23 PM EDT by Aidan Walker

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Pitbull and two American Xl Bully Dogs, next to a picture of the globe reading "Mr. Worldwide (except for United Kingdom)."

After a man was attacked and killed by two dogs in Staffordshire, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak has announced the government intends to ban the American XL Bully Dog (a variety of pitbull) in Britain.

Following the move, a number of animal rights groups have protested the ban, arguing that it will not address the root problem, which is breeders and owners who train the dogs irresponsibly.

In order to ban the dog, the U.K. government first has to define the breed, which will take time. Some of the most prominent animal rights groups in the country have come out against the plan.

Online, a debate has begun raging over whether the contentious dogs should be banned. Some say it's an unfair attack, and are posting pictures of their canine companions as a counter to the sweeping generalization often associated with the breed.

Among this group, a fringe has declared that attempts to ban American XL Bully Dogs are "dog racism," a claim that many found outright ridiculous and even offensive.

Others are joking about the situation and about the breed's name, pointing out that maybe the problem is cultural adjustment to the U.K.

The American XL Bully Dog is part of the broader pitbull breed (but has no relation to the musical artist Pitbull).

The debate over banning pitbulls has raged for years, with strong words on both sides — those who want to ban pitbulls see them as dangerous dogs with a documented history of attacking people and accuse pitbull supporters of faking scientific research that says pitbulls are safe.

Pitbull supporters, on the other hand, argue that the problem is people who train their dogs badly and an unfair cultural stigma against pitbulls.

Feelings run strong about this highly memed and debated breed. Bronwen Dickey, author of a history book about pitbulls called Pit Bull: The Battle Over An American Icon (and owner of a pitbull) has to hire security for when she does public readings and book tours.

It remains to be seen how long it will take for the U.K. to define and ban the dog, and what will happen next.

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