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The Weeds Act 1959
Common Ragwort is one of five Injurious Weeds specified in the Weeds Act 1959: This Act empowers the respective Agricultural Ministers (in Scotland, The Secretary of State) to serve notice requiring an occupier of land on which ragwort is growing to take action to prevent the weed from spreading.(exctract from Surrey county council website)Ragwort causes liver damage in livestock especially horses.I have noticed it seems to be getting more widespread too!
There is very little evidence of it causing damage to livestock (basically because they are not dumb enough to eat it).
More information here - http://www.ragwortfacts.com/
Problem causing or not , The Weeds Act1959 is a fact!
Thanks for your comments and links. I agree animals are not daft enough to eat what harms them However a few years ago I had friends who kept horses and fanatically pulled out every trace of ragwort from their hay meadows as the stock could not discriminate hay and ragwort in winter feed.
Lat/Lng: 51.94114, 1.14585
OS grid ref: TM163316
A local nature reserve situated on the estuary of the river Stour very good for insects and birds.