Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he will ban American XL bully dogs by the end of the year after a series of attacks.

There are already four listed dog breeds banned in the UK under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991, such as pitbull terrier, Japanese tosa, dogo Argentino, and fila Brasilerio.

But what is the Dangerous Dog Act 1991 and why was it implemented by the government many years ago?

What is the Dangerous Dog Act 1991?

“The Act made it illegal to have a dog that’s ‘dangerously out of control’ in a public place,” reports Compare the Market.

“The law was updated in 2014 to include private properties – including the owner’s home.

“In the eyes of the law, a dog can be considered ‘dangerously out of control’ if it injures someone or a person is worried that it could injure them.”

Additionally, a dog could also be considered “dangerously out of control” if it attacks another animal.

The financial advice website adds: “It’s illegal to own, sell, breed, give away or abandon any of these dogs. The law also applies to crossbreeds.

“What’s more, whether a dog is considered illegal or not can depend on what it looks like, not just its breed.

“This means that if a dog shares physical characteristics with one of the four banned breeds, it could be considered illegal.”

Commenting on the “promised” ban of American XL bullies, Mr Sunak said: “I share the nation’s horror at the recent videos we’ve all seen. Yesterday we saw a another suspected XL bully dog attack, which has tragically led to a fatality.

“It is clear this is not about a handful of badly trained dogs, it’s a pattern of behaviour and it cannot go on.”

He said he has ordered ministers to bring together police and experts to define the breed of dog behind these attacks so they can then be outlawed.

“We will then ban the breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act and new laws will be in place by the end of the year,” he added.

“These dogs are dangerous, I want to reassure the public that we will take all necessary steps to keep people safe.”