XL Bully: Jack Lis' mum criticises Suella Braverman over slow response to calls for ban of dog breed

Emma Whitfield lost her son, Jack, in November 2021 when he was attacked by a friend's dog.

The mother of a boy who was mauled to death by a dog says a ban on American XL bully dog will save lives.

Emma Whitfield's son Jack was 10 years old when an XL bully, called 'Beast', attacked and killed him at a friend's house in Caerphilly in 2021.

In response to fresh calls to ban the breed, she criticised the government for inaction.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) Emma hit out at the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, saying: "Where were you when my son was killed? Where were you when other innocent people were killed?

"Where were you when I was at Parliament asking for change? Nowhere."

Emma wants the laws to be changed to ban the breed and tougher prison sentences for owners whose dogs attack people.

Speaking to ITV News, Emma said: "I don't see why it can still happen and nothing is being done.

"If Jack was attacked by a Jack Russell or a small dog, I can guarantee you he'd be next to me. These XL bullies have got the power to kill, a lot of dogs don't have that."

Jack Lis was 10 years-old when an XL bully, called 'Beast', attacked and killed him in 2021.

There have been fresh calls for a ban after footage was shared online this weekend of a girl, 11, and two men being attacked by an American XL bully in Birmingham.

The dog was being walked by its owner when it came loose and bit the girl as she walked past.

Two men intervened but were chased and bitten, leaving injuries on their shoulders and arms. They were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries.

A video of the incident has since gone viral online, prompting the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, to post: "This is appalling. 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."

Flowers were laid near the home where Jack Lis was killed in November 2021.

On watching the video Emma Whitfield said: "you see the fear in them and you put that into the fear that Jack felt.

"That can't keep happening, it really can't, we've got to stop it. And if it means banning the breed for now and then looking at proper legislation around tackling the bigger picture, then so be it."

Speaking at a press conference today (Monday), the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, said the UK government were already too late in taking to outlaw the breed.

He said: "Some people will remember that a 10 year old child died in Caerphilly back in 2021. We wrote to the UK government then urging them to strengthen the protections in law against what we had seen.

"The Dangerous Dogs Act is non-devolved, it's in the hands of the UK government. I think they should've acted already and I certainly think they need to act now."

MP for Caerphilly, Wayne David, has campaigned with Emma to reform the laws around dangerous dogs .

He said: "I certainly welcome the comments that Suella Braverman has made, but this has been an issue for quite some time. We've been raising this in a number of different ways in parliament and I raised it personally with the Prime Minister.

"I'm also concerned because I've just heard that Number 10 has failed to support the Home Secretary in her comments, so what I want to know is what is happening if at all anything is happening.

"Action needs to be taken and the government needs to act quickly and decisively. A good start would be possibly adding the XL bully to the dangerous dogs list."

A Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson said: “We take dog attacks and antisocial behaviour very seriously and are making sure the full force of the law is being applied.

“This can range from lower-level Community Protection Notices, which require dog owners to take appropriate action to address behaviour, to more serious offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act, where people can be put in prison for up to 14 years, be disqualified from ownership or result in dangerous dogs being euthanised."

There are currently four banned breeds of dog in the UK: the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino and fila Brasileiro.

It is also against the law to have a dog that is dangerously out of control, which can be punished by prison sentences and unlimited fines.

The American XL bully is closely related to the pit bull terrier, but is not subject to any legal restrictions.

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