British Horse Society Warns Of Dangers Of Ragwort In Hay

The British Horse Society has issued a warning to all horse owners to beware of ragwort in hay. With a high prevalence of ragwort last summer, it is virtually impossible to guarantee that hay is completely ragwort free, in fact the BHS received many reports of fields absolutely full of ragwort being cropped for hay. The presence of ragwort in hay is particularly dangerous as horses are much more likely to eat it. It is more palatable when dry, but just as toxic. Small amounts can build up in the system and will almost inevitably lead to death. BHS advice is to check hay very carefully before feeding to horses, ponies and donkeys. The feathery leaves can give it away and often -- especially in fairly fresh hay -- the tell-tale red stems are visible. If ragwort is found in hay then the matter should be reported to the Trading Standards Office at the local authority.

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