Concerns have been rising over the past few weeks after a number of XL bully attacks hit the headlines.
The most recent ended in tragedy after a 54-year-old man sadly died when he was set upon by a suspected bully.
The unnamed man was attacked by the dog on Shiney Row in Sunderland yesterday evening (3 October), police confirmed.
According to reports, he suffered serious injuries to his neck, and despite the best efforts of the paramedics, he died.
A 44-year-old man was arrested following the horrific incident and has since been charged with murder.
This is the latest in a series of brutal and shocking attacks by the powerful breed this year.
Just a few weeks ago, an 11-year-old girl was savaged by an XL bully in Bordesley Green, Birmingham.
Footage from the attack was shared widely on social media, which showed Ana Paun being mauled by a large dog.
Speaking about the attack, the schoolgirl said: "I thought it was going to attack my face and neck and that I was going to die.
"I kept screaming and screaming - I was petrified."
Two other men also had to receive medical treatment after helping pull the dog away from her.
"I am so thankful to the two men who helped fight the dog off," Ana told the Sun. "I thought it was going to kill me. They suffered worse injuries than me."
A man was arrested following the attack but was bailed while further enquiries were made.
Last month, Ian Price sadly died after he was attacked by two dogs, which were suspected to be XL bullies.
The 52-year-old, from Staffordshire, suffered multiple serious injuries during the incident, and police had to lock down a local primary school.
One of the dogs involved died while being restrained, while the other was put down.
A man was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter following the attack.
XL bullies have been linked to over a dozen deaths from dog attacks over the past couple of year.
Last year, they were said to be involved in six of the 10 fatal attacks in the UK, and before this week at least three of the seven in 2023.
The apparent spike in attacks in recent weeks has seen the UK government move in to ban the breed, joining the pit bull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino, and the fila Brasileiro.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that he would be pushing for the matter to be dealt with later this year.
He said: "The American XL Bully Dog is a danger to our communities, particularly our children.
"Today, I have tasked ministers to bring together police and experts to firstly define the breed of dog behind these attacks, with a view to then outlawing it.
"It is not currently a breed defined in law, so this vital first step must happen fast. We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year.
"These dogs are dangerous. I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe."Featured Image Credit: XL Bully.webp Zanna Pasnina via Getty