‘I sold my XL Bully Rambo to protect my four-year-old son – I’m relieved the breed is being banned’

A mum who sold her American XL Bully puppy fearing it would hurt her four-year-old son said she’s relieved the breed has been banned in the UK. Zara, who didn’t want to give her surname, bought the puppy in January 2023 for £2,500.

The 27-year-old from Oldham said she thought ‘a dog was a dog’ and didn’t do much research into the breed before buying Rambo. After seven months with the dog, Zara sold him for £500, afraid for her son Aaron’s safety.

She told the Manchester Evening News that as Rambo ‘grew stronger’, she felt Aaron was in danger. The dog left him with scratches on his face while playing, Zara said, and ripped his clothes.

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Zara spoke to the M.E.N. as it was announced today (Friday, September 15) that the American XL Bully breed would be banned by the end of the year. She said was ‘relieved’ to hear the news.

The mum said: “The dog used to play with my son in a dangerous way, causing him to have scratches on his face, arms and legs. After hearing everything on the news recently about the dog attacks, I’m glad I gave the dog away.

“Day by day the dog was growing and became stronger. My son used to play with him but at times the dog would get out of control.

“I just knew something was not right. It just felt like something was going to happen. I could sense it, I don’t know if it was just mother’s instinct, but my son is too precious.”

Zara added: “I bought the dog for £2,500 and sold him for £500 so I lost money, but it was the right thing to do. My son wasn’t happy about me giving him away, but I had to rehome him.”

American XL Bully dogs will now be banned (stock image)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the breed would be banned after it emerged a man died after being attacked by two dogs – suspected to be XL Bullies– in Birmingham. It followed a video of another attack in which an 11-year-old girl suffered serious injuries.

He said: “The American XL Bully dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children. I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we’ve all seen. Yesterday we saw a another suspected XL Bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality.

“It is clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs, it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on. While owners already have a responsibility to keep their dogs under control, I want to reassure people that we are urgently working on ways to stop these attacks and protect the public.”

Mr Sunak said he has tasked ministers with establishing the type of dog behind the attacks. The breed will then be banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. New laws will be in place by the end of the year.

Downing Street denied the government had taken too long to ban American XL bully dogs. Asked whether ministers had ‘dragged their heels’ on commencing work to outlaw the breed, the PM’s official spokesman said: “I wouldn’t accept that.

“I think we’ve obviously been doing some policy work on this and you heard from the Home Secretary recently about how to take this forward. Clearly this breed of dog isn’t defined in law so it’s right to take the time to consider the best way to put an end to these horrendous attacks that we’re seeing.”

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MEN – Oldham