Ragwort Control Act becomes law this month
British Horse Society sponsored Ragwort Control Act becomes law
on 20 February, some fourteen months after it was declared in the
2002 Private Members' Bill parliamentary ballot.
Act provides for a statutory code of practice to prevent and control
the spread of ragwort, the first time such a code has been established.
In anticipation of the Bill's success, Defra commissioned ADAS to
draft the code and set up a steering group of interested organisations,
including the BHS who had initially approached the department about
producing a code.
is expected that the code will be finalised and passed before parliament
in time for the Spring growing season when Ragwort is at the rosette
stage of its lifecycle.
chief executive Kay Driver said, "The Society's success in
sponsoring a Private Members' Bill that will be of marked benefit
for horse welfare epitomises our work. Many people were instrumental
in bringing about this Bill but particular thanks must be extended
to John Greenway MP for taking the Bill forward, to Baroness Masham
of Ilton for leading it through the House of Lords and to the Minister,
the Rt. Hon Alun Michael, and his team at Defra for their support.
many horses have died from Ragwort poisoning and, sadly, no doubt
others will in the future. But with the Ragwort Control Act becoming
law and making provision for a code of practice we trust that landowners
and occupiers will recognise their responsibilities and that they
have a duty of care towards controlling the spread of Ragwort seeds,
and, in time, we will see reducing numbers of equine deaths caused