Dorset Council are absolutely correct when they say ragwort is great in helping to grow the county’s insect population (Plea on ragwort, August 2) but the British Horse Society has concerns over their plea urging people to let it grow.

The article clearly identifies that ragwort is toxic to grazing animals and the BHS strongly advises that it is removed from areas deemed high risk ie within 50 metres of horses, livestock, or land used for forage production.

Once ragwort is dried and wilted it retains its toxicity but loses its bitter taste and becomes palatable to horses, and if incorporated into hay or haylage and digested can cause serious liver damage to a horse.

Ragwort is great for biodiversity, but should absolutely not be allowed to grow in these high risk areas.


The British Horse Society

Abbey Park, Stareton, Coventry