Prime Minister Rishi Sunak proposed on Friday to ban the breed by the end of the year following the death of Ian Price.
The 52-year-old was savaged by two suspected American XL bully dogs while protecting his elderly mother at her home in Stonnall, Staffordshire, on Thursday afternoon and died a day later.
An exclusive poll for the Sunday Express, taken before Mr Price’s death and the PM’s announcement, showed 33 per cent wanted the Government to ban the breed.
Campaigners Bully Watch said the breed had caused 14 deaths since 2021 and was responsible for at least 351 attacks so far this year.
It is also responsible for 43 per cent of all dog attacks.
But one dog expert expressed concern about singling out bully dogs, which would encourage breeders to crossbreed to beat the ban, while others are sceptical about licences.
Latest NHS figures revealed that the number of people requiring hospital treatment for dog bite wounds in England nearly doubled in 15 years, from 4,699 in 2007/2008 to 9,336 in 2022/2023.
The figures for those requiring reconstructive surgery also jumped from 1,950 to 3,473 – of whom 1,006 were aged under 14.
Overall, 47,021 people have required surgery since 2007/2008.
The UK’s top vet yesterday said bully owners will not face a cull of their pets. Chief Veterinary Officer Professor Christine Middlemiss said: “There will be an amnesty.
“So people who already have these dogs – and some of the dogs will be well socialised, well managed, well trained – will need to register and take certain actions.
“Your dog will need to be neutered. It will need to be muzzled when out in public and on a lead, and insured. But if you comply with these actions, and that means we’ll know where these dogs are –which will be a massive benefit –then yes, absolutely you will be able to keep your dog.”
Labour, while supportive of the ban on the killer crossbreed, criticised Mr Sunak for “dithering” over bringing in restrictions on their ownership. Sir Keir Starmer said: “There has been a clear case for banning them for a long time.
“What I say to the Government is good, get on with it, and the sooner we can do this, the better.”
Other recent victims include Ana Paun, 11, who was set upon by an out-of-control XL bully crossbreed as she walked to a shop with her sister to buy sweets in Birmingham last Saturday, suffering shoulder and arm injuries.
Two people who tried to get the dog off her were also bitten.
Fatalities include Jack Lis, 10, who was savaged by a dog called Beast when he called at a friend’s house in south Wales in 2021.
However, the ban has been opposed by animal charities including the RSPCA, Dogs Trust, and the Kennel Club, with a spokesperson for the Dog Control Coalition saying that “banning the breed will sadly not stop these types of incidents recurring”.
The decision echoes the approach adopted when pitbulls were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act in the 1990s.
However, dog expert Stan Rawlinson said we should adopt a similar scheme to Spain’s, which requires anyone who owns a dog with particular characteristics – such as muscular build, heavy weight over 20kg, a wide skull and jaw, muscular neck or convex cheeks – to have a licence for it.
He said if specific breeds are banned, unscrupulous breeders will carry out crossbreeding to get around the ban. He said: “I don’t think what the Government is doing is the right approach. It’s got to be aimed at the people that want, breed and own these dogs.”
He wants applicants to have a medical to show they can control the dogs, have no criminal convictions, and have insurance – with hefty fines for non-compliance.
“If you put the whole lot in a package, people will be saying, I can’t be bothered. Gradually, the desire to own them will drop.”
He added that he would like to see dog licences introduced for all breeds so “people can’t just buy them on a whim”.
But a spokesperson for the Kennel Club said: “Dog licensing has been tried and consequently scrapped across Britain in the past as it was neither enforceable nor effective.”
They said licensing in Northern Ireland and Ireland is expensive, has a compliance rate of only 30 to 40 per cent, and is “ineffective”, especially in poorer areas where compliance is low but attacks are high.