West Midlands Police attend mass XL bully dog walk in Birmingham

Jake Harris with his XL bully dog Riz, during a protest against the government's decision to add XL bully dogs to the list of prohibited breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act following a spate of recent attacks.

West Midlands Police officers attended a mass XL bully dog walk in Birmingham.

The force said it wanted to be at the event, in Handsworth, to answer questions from the public.

It comes after the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, announced the breed will be banned by the end of the year following a series of attacks.

Organisers said the walk was held in a bid to "prove people wrong".

In a statement, West Midlands Police said: "We remain in contact with the organiser of the event in Handsworth and will have a presence there on Saturday.

"Officers will be in attendance to answer any questions from the public."

An advert for the meet-up, which is being circulated online, reads: "Bully meet - all dogs welcome. Wanna see as many people as possible.

"Bring as many people and kids as possible. Friendly walk! We can't be stopped for walking our dogs.

"Let's show how gentle the XL Bully really is. Let's get this out there - anyone from Birmingham or surrounding areas turn up, let's prove people wrong!"

Hundreds of thousands of people have backed calls to "save" the breed by signing an online petition.

Jake Harris, from the 0121 Bullys Instagram and TikTok account, said the meet-up was being organised because of the "need to show people that the XL Bullies are not the problem".

"It’s all about the owners," he said. "I've got three XL Bullies and not one of them would hurt a soul.

"Yes they might look big and scary but they are big family dogs! I’ve got my fingers crossed there will be a lot of families there."

Steve Constantinou, who runs Spartan Kennels in Coventry, said Brummie XL Bully owners were hiring out private fields, where dogs can run without a lead, because they were worried about the implications of the upcoming breed ban.

He said some were even "frightened to take their dogs out", and one woman hid "behind a tree" as he walked past with his XL Bully.

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