The mother of a 10-year-old boy killed by an American Bully XL dog has questioned why the Government has not acted sooner to ban the breed.
Emma Whitfield spoke out after Home Secretary Suella Braverman suggested the animals could be prohibited.
The Cabinet minister announced she has commissioned “urgent advice” on outlawing the dogs after she highlighted an “appalling” attack on an 11-year-old girl in Birmingham, which was filmed by an eyewitness and posted on social media.
It’s crazy how this video has gone viral and now politicians are coming out of the woodwork saying how bad it is.
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?
— Emma W #ForJackLis💙 (@Emma__Whitfield) September 10, 2023
Ms Whitfield’s son, Jack Lis, was attacked by a Bully XL dog named Beast in Caerphilly, South Wales, two years ago.
Writing on X, previously known as Twitter, Ms Whitfield said: “It’s crazy how this video has gone viral and now politicians are coming out of the woodwork saying how bad it is.
“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.
“If you’re going to do something, please do it. Stop pussyfooting around the ‘breed neutral’ bull crap and do something.
“Maybe you can do this and work on the backyard breeders and the thuggish owners ruining lives too.”
Brandon Hayden and Amy Salter were later jailed after admitting being in charge of the out-of-control dog that killed Jack.
Meanwhile, West Midlands Police said officers were continuing to investigate the incident in Birmingham which left three people injured, including the 11-year-old girl.
She sustained serious wounds to her shoulder and forearms and is now recovering at home following hospital treatment.
A 20-year-old man was chased across a garage forecourt and taken to hospital with bites to his shoulder and forearm, along with cuts and bruises from being dragged across the ground.
Another man also suffered injuries and presented himself at hospital for treatment.
Police said the dog broke free from its owner twice during the incident.
“The dog was seized by officers and taken to a vet suffering from heat exhaustion. He has now been taken into secure kennels and our dog unit will consider what will happen to it,” a police spokesman said.
“The dog’s owner is currently in hospital, and we will be speaking to him in due course.
“This was an alarming and shocking incident on a busy road in high temperatures and members of the public showed immense courage in tackling such a ferocious dog.”
Adding the Bully XL to the banned list is the responsibility of Environment Secretary Therese Coffey’s department, where, the PA news agency understands, there are concerns over the feasibility of the move.
The dog, which is developed from the American pit bull terrier, is not a recognised as a specific breed by the Kennel Club.
It could be hard to define and some fear a ban could inadvertently outlaw a range of other dogs.
It is against the law to own, breed or sell dogs on the list drawn up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
We take dog attacks and anti-social behaviour very seriously and are making sure the full force of the law is being applied
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
But 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.
There are currently four banned breeds of dog in the UK: the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.
A Defra spokesman said: “We take dog attacks and anti-social 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.”
Downing Street said the UK Government takes the issue of American bully XL dogs “extremely seriously”.
Anybody who saw footage of what happened is really shocked at what had happened and I think nobody would say that’s perfectly acceptable and nothing needs to be done
Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader
“The footage we saw over the weekend was shocking. I know that the police are investigating that specific incident,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
“We take this issue extremely seriously. We have commissioned urgent advice on what steps we can take on dangerous dogs. I think the Home Secretary set that out yesterday. And beyond that immediate work, we do have a number of measures to protect people under the Dangerous Dogs Act.”
Speaking during a visit to an east London school, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told reporters: “I think there’s a strong case for banning this particular breed.
“Anybody who saw footage of what happened is really shocked at what had happened and I think nobody would say that’s perfectly acceptable and nothing needs to be done.
“I want to see what the Government is going to put forward. I hope we can do this speedily and constructively.”