Tuesday, 15 March 2011

You are wrong Salvador

 A blog search shows Salvador's blog
making the old claim that 6000 horses a year die from ragwort poisoning. His blog is rather prolific but the errors in the English do make you wonder.As do the adverts for sites selling viagra and such like. It sounds like a rather spammy old blog created quickly for advertising revenue. It might even use automated software for its creation.

It is however an example of how the stories get repeated and this old chestnut is well known.

The high figure comes from a survey that was about SUSPECTED ragwort poisonings. We know that ragwort poisoning is indistinguishable from any other kind of liver damage without direct examination of the liver, and even then that the same alkaloids occur in 3% of all flowering plants worldwide. So searching for suspected cases is worthless.

But this survey of vets is worse than that. There was a tiny number of replies and from a large number surveyed. The number was then atrociously multiplied as if all correspondents replied. This is junk science if ever there was such a thing.

We know from a great deal of international evidence that despite all the hysteria ragwort poisoning is rare.
Ragwort Hysteria latest entries

1 comment:

  1. It is a really shame that claim about so many dead horses. This unnescasarry fear goes international. Ragwort is not a new plant but did always exist.
    It is true it is a poisonous plant, but is NOT true so many horses die. I think obese horses and laminitis or colic are a much bigger problem.