The new Ragwort Toolkit from the British Society is seriously inaccurate. They have a poor reputation as a source of accurate information on ragwort, with people repeating their stories having a string of problems with the Advertising Standards Authority and the Press Complaints Commission.

Other examples of poor information amoung many include one of their local officers writing a hysterical letter to the press, making statements about ragwort that overestimate its toxicity by around TEN THOUSAND TIMES and an inaccurate press release

On this occasion they chose to repeat one of the factual errors about the law which they have become so well known for.

"The Weeds Act (1959) only applies to Common Ragwort. It's not an offence for ragwort to grow in certain areas, but spread of ragwort onto high-risk land (see below) is an offence."

This is clearly wrong. There is no offence in UK law such as this. For a full explanation of the law which does not create an automatic legal obligation to control ragwort, please see the guide to the legal situation which is available on this site on the Ragwort Law pages. This is virtually identical to a statement which led to the Advertising Standards Authority, who are independent and look at the evidence, stopping one of the BHS's leaflets and also to a magazine statement which led to a correction being printed after action by the Press Complaints Commission who are similarly independent.

They also say:-

Under the Weeds Act 1959, landowners/occupiers must control ragwort within risk areas for grazing or forage production. This means there is a legal obligation to remove ragwort where it's growing on this land or there is a high risk of spread to it.
The law does not say this. It is as simple as that. It is just wrong!

It is also worth noting that if a company repeates this clearly false information while selling ragwort controls they will be committing an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which forbid misleading customers with these sort of falsehoods.

They also emphasise the government control guidance which is based on poor science and very bad use of statistics.

So the message is don't trust the British Horse Society and their Ragwort Toolkit because they have a bad reputation as a source of accurate information on the issue and the proof of this is their long history of producing bad and misleading information which is confirmed by independent action by regulatory bodies.

If the British Horse Society tells you something about ragwort it has a very high probability of being wrong or at the very least misleading