LONDON: Police in central England said Friday that a 30-year-old man had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, after another man died following the latest in a spate of dog attacks nationwide.

It comes as the issue of dangerous dogs reached the top level of UK politics, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak vowing to ban the so-called American Bully XL breed involved in numerous incidents.

The latest victim was attacked Thursday by two dogs outside a property in Stonnall, a village just north of Birmingham, and died later in hospital as a result of his injuries.

Staffordshire Police said the 30-year-old man was initially arrested on suspicion of being in charge of dogs dangerously out of control causing injury, and then further arrested for manslaughter.

“He will be interviewed by detectives today,“ the force said in a statement.

One of the dogs died after being restrained, and the other died after an injection by a vet.

Officials are now determining the breeds of the dogs involved, but police said they are believed to be American bullys, known for their stocky and muscular appearance.

On Saturday, an 11-year-old girl was left seriously injured after she was attacked by an American Bully XL and a Staffordshire bull terrier crossbreed puppy.

“It’s clear the American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities,“ Sunak said in a recorded video statement posted on social media.

“I’ve ordered urgent work to define and ban this breed so we can end these violent attacks and keep people safe.

“It’s clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs. It’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.”

- 'New laws' -

In the aftermath of the weekend attack, interior minister Suella Braverman had said ministers were seeking “urgent advice” on whether American bully XLs should be banned.

“This is appalling,“ she posted on social media after the attack.

“The American XL Bully is a clear and lethal danger to our communities, particularly to children. We can’t go on like this. I have commissioned urgent advice on banning them.”

They are said to have originated in the United States in the late 1980s, when American pit bull terriers and American Staffordshire bull terriers were crossed.

There are four variations in the US, with XL the largest.

They are not currently subject to any legal restrictions, and the breed is not recognised by the country's Kennel Club, complicating efforts to legislate them.

The pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino and fila Brasileiro are currently banned in the UK.

Sunak said defining the American Bully was vital. “We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year,“ he said.

In another case, a man admitted in court on Friday of being in charge of a dangerous dog that killed his 51-year-old brother in an attack in April.

The dog was “destroyed at the scene” because it was seen as “presenting a risk to officers and the public”, Derbyshire Police said at the time, but its breed was not mentioned during the hearing. -AFP

Clickable Image
Clickable Image
Clickable Image