Wet weather brings on ragwort

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This year's repeated wet weather has helped the poisonous ragwort thrive in the UK, but getting landowners to take action is proving to be tricky.

It is a highly toxic weed for horses and cattle, which can cause extensive liver damage and in the worst cases, even death.

The National Farmers Union told Horse and Hound that they have received increased reports of ragwort this year.

However, existing legislation states that it is not an offence to have ragwort growing on your land if it is not threatening grazing or fodder.

The British Horse Society's (BHS) recent annual ragwort report found that Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Essex had the most reports of the weed in the last year.

Ragwort awareness week was held earlier this summer to educate as many people as possible about its dangers.

Lee Hackett of the BHS commented: "We believe that ragwort problems are getting worse and the current legislation is ineffective."

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