Wednesday, 28 December 2011

It is even getting into the textbooks now!

It is bad enough when things appear in the newspapers that are incorrect. There is at least an opportunity to write a letter correcting it but when things get into textbooks there is a real problem. Any bad information tends to be believed even more strongly. A case in point is the textbook Practical Horse Law - A Guide For Owners and Riders by Brenda Gilligan which makes the following incorrect statement.
"Under the Weeds Act 1959, ragwort is an 'injurious weed' and one that on agricultural land must be controlled."
This is not the case. The Weeds Act does NOT say that ragwort must be controlled on agricultural land. It gives powers, that were apparently never used until the current hysteria, to order ragwort control where it is thought necessary. This is a completely different matter and the current guidance issued after the publication of the book says that ragwort should not be controlled everywhere. You can hardly blame the author for getting it wrong. This is a common myth that has been put out repeatedly by the anti-ragwort campaign. The British Horse Society had one of their leaflets stopped by the advertising standards authority for saying just this kind of thing and even after this they carried on saying it on one of their websites!
Ragwort Hysteria latest entries

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