Birmingham dog attack: man arrested on suspicion of owning 'dangerously out of control' XL bully after child bitten

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West Midlands police say the dog is currently being held in a secure kennel facility

A man has been arrested on suspicion of possessing a "dangerously out of control" dog, after a young girl and two others who tried to help her were injured in an attack.

A video of the incident in Birmingham on Saturday (9 September) went viral online, and sparked Home Secretary Suella Braverman to seek urgent advice on whether the controversial American XL bully should be banned in the UK. Ana Paun, 11, sustained serious bites to her arm and shoulder, while footage of the attack also showed two men, one armed with a shovel, also being attacked by the dog.

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On Wednesday, West Midlands police said they had arrested a 60-year-old man on suspicion of having a dog dangerously out of control - specifying that the dog was an American XL bully and Staffordshire bull terrier cross.

A CCTV still showing the dog chasing people across a petrol station forecourt after biting 11-year-old Ana Paun (NationalWorld)A CCTV still showing the dog chasing people across a petrol station forecourt after biting 11-year-old Ana Paun (NationalWorld)
A CCTV still showing the dog chasing people across a petrol station forecourt after biting 11-year-old Ana Paun (NationalWorld) | NationalWorld

A spokesperson said the man has been bailed with conditions while inquiries continue, while the dog remains in a secure kennel.

Ana Paun spoke out after she was attacked while going to the shops with her sister, saying she would also like to see the breed banned.

"The dog was staring at me. He jumped on my arm and bit me," she said. "It was so scary. I was screaming. He let my arm go and then bit my shoulder."

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"I think all of the dogs, the bull dogs, all of them should be banned," she added.

American XL Bullies are overrepresented in dog attack statistics. Bullywatch - a UK group that tracks dog attacks by breed - reports so far this year, large bully-type dogs have been involved in 351 attacks, making up 43% of 2023's total dog attacks.

They have been responsible for 11 confirmed human deaths since 2021 - as well as having suspected involvement in three other deaths.

However, an expert group including the RSPCA and the Kennel Club have warned that breed bans are not the most effective way to fix the UK's dog attack problem, with the number of dog attacks rising since four breeds - including pit bulls - were banned in 1991.

Instead, they say the government needs to focus on better enforcing breeding and dog control regulations, and on promoting responsible dog ownership and training.

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