Monday, 12 August 2013

Jersey Government's ragwort lies.

This blog post is prompted by this posting on twitter:-

 Jonathan Walker ‏@RocqueJon 3h

    @jimrondel I'd put it the other way around States must clear it just as other landowners must - evil stuff #ragwort
Well I would contend on the basis of an enormous amount of evidence that the fuss about ragwort is made up.  Going by the international scientific information, not the nutty stuff we get in the press, it may quite well be possible that there has never been a recorded case of possible ragwort type poisoning on  Jersey. I have to say ragwort type poisoning because there is no test to identify it with certainty. See Ragwort poisoning there is no test.

 We get a lot of false claims in the UK. We get false claims, that it kills dogs, is poisonous to the touch, that it may have given people cancer in South Africa(  It doesn't grow there!) that it kills thousands of horses a year. (The Advertising Standards Authority acted against ads saying this) and so on ad nauseam.

This tweet mentions "States". This is about "The States of Jersey" the government on the channel island of Jersey.

Just to make it clear Jersey is not part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The Head of State is nominally the Duke of Normandy, which is for historical reasons the same person as the British Monarch.

To explain briefly for any foreign readers. Long before Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were added to England to make the United Kingdom. William Duke of Normandy conquered England  in 1066 and became King. Later on one of his descendants King John lost all the rest of his French lands in battle, but the current Queen still retains the channel  islands as a separate domain. They make their own laws as a result.

There is a law about ragwort and the Jersey Government is quite simply lying about it.
This is what they say on their website.
"Ragwort is specified as an Injurious Weed under the Weeds (Jersey) Law 1961 which requires occupiers to prevent it from spreading.

Land occupier co-operation is required to control this weed and prevent it from maturing, seeding and ultimately spreading throughout the island. This is a legal requirement if you are the occupier of the land upon which the weed is growing. " 

This sounds very clear, but it is wrong.

We can look at the law on weeds and lo and behold we find that it doesn't say what is claimed!
 It doesn't make it an automatic legal requirement to control ragwort.
This is what is says:-

The Minister, if satisfied that there are injurious weeds to which this Law applies growing upon any land, may cause to be served on the occupier of the land a notice in writing requiring him or her, within the time specified in the notice, to take such action as may be necessary to prevent the injurious weeds from spreading. 

This is basically just a copy of the Weeds Act in the UK. It places no obligation on anyone to do anything unless the minister decides to issue an order. There is not even any obligation on the minster to issue it.

So while the person who wrote the first bit on the website may well have believed it true, but it isn't, and the government know this so as a body the government is lying to its populace about its own laws.

Perhaps someone needs to tell them that the fuss is made up. They are wasting money and making their farmers and landowners waste money and damage the environment while they do it.
Ragwort Hysteria latest entries

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