On this date the British Horse Society produces a press release to promote what became the Ragwort Control Act. It contains the following falsehoods and inaccuracies.
Suspect claim: "Ragwort is thought to have caused the death of 500 horses in 2001, with the toll predicted at 1,000 for this year."
Reality: The source of these figures later revealed his statistical methods They seem most incorrect and invalid and seem to have involved a clearly incorrect statistical derivation. This would make the figures utterly wrong and meaningless.
Suspect claim::"Under the Weeds Act of 1959 it is an offence to allow the plant to seed.
Reality: This is incorrect this law does not make the control of ragwort an automatic obligation. Some years later one of the BHS's leaflets was stopped after action by the Advertising Standards Authority for making a very similar claim. There is a briefing on this site about ragwort law
Suspect claim:"Ragwort seeds can lie dormant in the soil for up to twenty years,
and each plant can produce 150-250,000 seeds a year."
Reality: 20 years is an exceptionally long time for a tiny number of seeds to survive and the figures of 150-250,000 seeds are like describing men growing to seven feet tall.It is highly unlikely.Some years later a charity repeating these kinds of figures was forced to remove a claim of each plant producing 150,000 seeds from a leaflet after a ruling by the Aedvertising Standards Authority that it was incorrect and misleading.
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