Wednesday, 1 May 2013

More Nonsensical Ragwort Twittering

After yesterday's posting correcting the twitter user @dookist we were treated to a frankly hilarious display of exactly the problem that causes me to blog. It is of course no sin to be ignorant, but it is frustrating that when you supply someone with the sources of proper data that they seem to carry on ranting ignorantly.

There was a flurry of responses These are just some which illustrate the point beautifully.

@Ragwort_horses @ragwortfacts Obviously, the onus is on the farmer producing the hay. There's so much ragwort now, that people go to France!

This is really really silly. Ragwort is actually DECREASING in the UK. We know this because it has been subjected to proper scientific study as part of a government sponsored project.

@Ragwort_horses @ragwortfacts I don't think it justifiable to accuse someone of being hysterical, when one can be prosecuted for growing it.

But you can't just be prosecuted for growing ragwort. It is true that in extreme circumstances you may be ordered to control it, but in the absence of such an order there is no obligation to control it and you can only be prosecuted if you ignore an order. This has apparently never happened and also the orders were hardly used until people started making things up about ragwort to scare people.
Here is a briefing on ragwort law.

@ragwortfacts @maldondc Hysterical, moi?! It blows from the verges onto hay crops, & a few years down the line you horse gets liver failure.
First of all ragwort poisoning is rare.People continually quote Liverpool University as a source of expertise and a source of high figures. Well they have supplied figures for a five year period, the totality of the data that  they could provide. There was not one single case of ragwort poisoning recorded over these five years. NOT ONE!

Secondly ragwort seeds do not normally blow far. Only a matter of metres in fact.
Here you will find the data on ragwort seed dispersal

My message to @Dookist is this. If you are going to go into a public forum and post information, you had better make sure that you know what you are talking about. I have been studying this subject for  over  a decade. From where I am standing you seem rather foolish.

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