There have been an increasing number of stories in the British Press about Ragwort. These stories often contain statements that are obviously at odds with the known facts. Emotive descriptive names are given "like Yellow Peril", and "hooligan" which create a false impression of the true story.
Even some official websites run by local councils contain information that is clearly and unequivocally incorrect. See Local Council Ragwort Errors. This site shows examples of these and the actual truth as displayed by the facts of the law and science. Great lengths have been gone to to research the details.
It is true that ragwort is poisonous but the scientific statistics show clearly that it is not the problem that these lurid press stories portray. It does occasionally cause livestock deaths but this is comparatively rare and usually as a result of consuming ragwort in hay.
The evidence clearly shows that there is no need to remove ragwort from areas such as roadside verges and gardens and that while it is toxic to all animals including humans, ragwort is only one of a number of such plants and poses no serious risk whatsoever to human health.
There is also the concern that all misinformation will cause problems for animal health as the wrong actions are taken and misdiagnoses will lead to animals being harmed. People are being made to panic and worry unnecessarily.
Certainly as this site documents most of the bad information tells people to do the wrong things to control ragwort.There are also disturbing reports of overreactions to ragwort resulting in environmental damage to wildlife habitats.
This site has been extensively researched from the published scientific data. It is one of several such sites that now exist.
A site that is highly recommended is the website Ragwort myths and facts produced by an international team of experts led by horse enthusiast Esther Hegt.