Mother of girl, 4, mauled by XL bully crossbreed 'glad' they will be banned after shocking images show injuries

The mother of a four-year-old girl who was mauled by an XL bully crossbreed says she is "glad" they will be banned - and she hopes those allowed to keep the dogs will follow the rules.

Amy Hobson's daughter Luna has had surgery twice and might need to have a skin graft after she was left with "significant injuries" to her face in the attack in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in April.

It was one of a spate of recent attacks and deaths involving XL bully dogs.

The government has now announced the dogs will be added to the list of animals banned under the Dangerous Dog Act from the end of this year.

Speaking about the ban, Ms Hobson told Sky News: "I'm glad they've put this in place. Owners of XL bullies now have to do what the government is saying if they want to keep their dog.

"Hopefully people will do the right thing and get their dogs neutered and muzzle-trained and get them registered on that index."

However, Ms Hobson believes so-called "backyard breeders" will ignore the government and continue to breed the animals. She hopes the police will do more to clamp down on the practice.

Shocking images showed how Luna's face was badly scarred and swollen after she was bitten on the face by one of the animals at the home of a neighbour who lives on their street.

Ms Hobson, 32, says her daughter has been recovering well but will find out in February next year if she will need a skin graft - a procedure where healthy skin is removed from an unaffected area of the body and used to cover lost or damaged skin in another.

"They're just giving her face a bit more time to heal and seeing how her scarring looks and then they'll make the decision about whether she'll need the skin graft," Ms Hobson said.

"I'm hoping they'll say it's healing up nicely. The swelling is still there and the scarring still really obvious, I'm really hoping it recovers well by February."

XL bully owner 'devastated' by ban

Meanwhile, XL bully owner Janet Davies, who lives in Manchester, has said her three-year-old rescue dog is "absolutely not dangerous".

She said that if an XL bully behaves badly, it's because of the owner and they are the ones who should be punished.

Ms Davies said: "It's just devastating, Diesel has done nothing wrong, nothing. Punish the bad owners.

"You might as well say to me ban your child. I work in domestic abuse where you see and hear awful stuff, when I come home the dog is like my therapist.

"He'll play and greet me, lick me to death, knock me over, and that's how I deal with doing this kind of work."

Ms Davies has also said she will hire a dog behaviour specialist to help muzzle-train the dog without traumatising him.

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Girl, 11, attacked by XL bully crossbreed

The changes in law will be phased in over several months - with it becoming illegal to breed, sell, advertise, rehome, abandon or allow an XL bully dog to stray in England and Wales from 31 December.

XL bully dogs must also be muzzled and be on a lead in public from that date.

It will then become illegal to own an XL bully dog from 1 February 2024 - unless its owner applies for their animal to be registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs and complies with a strict set of rules by the end of January.

The rules include a requirement to keep their pets muzzled, neutered, microchipped and kept on a lead at all times in public.