A celebrity vet has warned of dogs which he calls a "nightmare in the wrong hands" after people and their pets were attacked by American XL bullies. 

Brighton vet Marc Abraham is calling for a change in legislation to prevent further attacks happening. 

Marc said American XL bully dogs are "status symbols" rather than pets and can be used as "weapons".

"These dogs are a nightmare when they are in the wrong hands," Marc told The Argus.

"And the trouble is, very few people have the right hands."

Marc has been in contact with Louise, the owner of Hugo, a two-and-a-half-year-old cavapoo which was mauled during an incident involving American XL bully dogs in Kemp Town, Brighton at the start of last month.

He said the incident was "really worrying".

His comments also come after a child was bitten by an American XL bulldog puppy in Burgess Hill.

The Argus: Marc Abraham said the system of dog control in the UK needs to be reformedMarc Abraham said the system of dog control in the UK needs to be reformed

In recent years, bulldogs have been bred with hugely exaggerated characteristics - such as excessive skin folds and large, muscular frames.

A BBC investigation found that the breeding of such a dogs has become a lucrative market, which can have links to organised crime

Animal welfare charity RSPCA has warned that criminals are breeding and selling these dogs to launder money and make huge sums, often at the expense of animal welfare.

Marc said that the system of dog control in this country needs to a complete overhaul. 

"Banning breeds will not change anything," he told The Argus. 

Both the ownership and breeding of pit bulls were banned in the UK by the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991.

Marc said: "Pit bulls were banned years ago.

"Adding breeds to the Dangerous Dogs Act wont change anything because people will just find another breed with a slight variation."

Marc stressed that the dogs are not to blame, but rather "irresponsible" owners.

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Marc has spoken to behaviourists about about the American bully XL.

"These dogs have low frustration thresholds. Coupled with the fact they often aren't exercised enough because they are status dogs, they can act dangerously," said Marc.

"Genetically, they are compromised in terms of communication with other dogs and then they are trained to be killers."

Wendy Rae Fowler, a dog trainer from Brighton said she believes there has been a rise in dog attacks in the city. 

"As somebody who has spent years walking dogs around the streets of Brighton, it is the Wild West right now," Wendy told The Argus. 

"I am worried about this issue, the dogs and the people of Brighton.

"People will suffer if nothing is done about this."

Wendy said that American bullies are bred to be "killing machines". 

Almost a month after Hugo the cavapoo was mauled by the two American XL bullies, the pair were seized by Sussex Police on February 3.

The dogs were returned to their owner a week later.

The Argus: An American bully dog. Clipping ears like this is illegal in the UK, but some people have them imported after their ears are clippedAn American bully dog. Clipping ears like this is illegal in the UK, but some people have them imported after their ears are clipped (Image: Wikimedia Commons)


At the time, Sussex Police issued a statement to The Argus.

Detective Superintendent Rachel Carr said: “The examination required the dogs to be seized and has confirmed they are not banned breeds.

“Strict safety measures remain in place, however, including keeping the dogs muzzled, on a lead and attended to in public at all times, as well as securely enclosed at their home address.

“I understand this situation has caused concern among the community and this resolution has been decided with public safety paramount, while remaining proportionate and in line with relevant legislation.”