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The British Horse Society British Horse Society in Scotland lobbies for its own Ragwort Bill

The British Horse Society (BHS) Scotland is pressing on with lobbying the Scottish Parliament for its own Ragwort Control Bill and code of practice following the success of the BHS' Bill in England and Wales.

The BHS sponsored Private Members' Bill, the Ragwort Control Bill introduced by John Greenway, MP for Ryedale in North Yorkshire, received Royal Assent last month (20 November) and comes into force on 20 February 2004. The new Act, which provides for a statutory code of practice, covers England and Wales only. A draft code of practice for England has been prepared in advance of the Bill and should be ready for publication when the Ragwort Control Act comes into force. A separate, but similar, code is being developed by the National Assembly for Wales.

Scotland is not covered by either the Act, or the code of practice, and is sorely needed. Helene Mauchlen, BHS Scotland Development Officer, said, "We are delighted with the Bill's success in England and Wales and we shall build on that to press the Scottish Parliament hard to produce its own regulated method of control. Ragwort is a real problem here and there is no reason why horses in Scotland should not receive the same protection as in other parts of the UK.

"Tomorrow (3 December) Dr Derek Knottenbelt, Head of the University of Liverpool's Equine Science Division, will be a keynote speaker addressing the inaugural Scottish Industrial and Amenity Weed Control Conference to be held at Dewar's Rink, in Perth. Dr Knottenbelt is regarded as the ultimate expert on Ragwort and its effect on horses and he will be talking to delegates that will include many Scottish Local Authorities on the subject. His talk will strengthen our campaign as his knowledge on the subject is not to be ignored."


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