HORSE owners across Keighley are warned to be on their guard against the dangers of ragwort.

Complaints about the plant soared by over 20 per cent between 2016 and last year, new figures show.

Ragwort is toxic to any horse which eats enough of it.

Potentially it can cause liver failure and prove fatal.

The Insurance Emporium, which has collated information from several public bodies, reveals that Yorkshire is the ‘ragwort capital’ of the UK.

Francis Martin, for the insurance provider, advises horse owners to be aware of the risks and take preventative action.

He said: “Whilst ragwort plays an important environmental role in supporting other wildlife, including the cinnabar moth, it can prove toxic for horses if eaten in enough volume.

“Proper land management is the way to go to ensure that grazing is ragwort-free and safe for horses.

“It is also important to check hay and haylage for ragwort.

“If your horse does ingest ragwort or something similarly poisonous, make sure you seek your vet’s advice immediately.”

The British Horse Society has also produced extensive guidance and information on the issue, and is striving to raise awareness and educate horse and land owners.

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