Department for Transport written question – answered at on 15 April 2024.

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Photo of Greg Knight Greg Knight Conservative, East Yorkshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that ragwort is removed from (a) roadside and (b) other land for which the Highways Agency is responsible.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

National Highways recognises that ragwort poisoning can have a devastating effect on horses, as well as being damaging to cattle and other animals. However, in the right place, and where there is no risk to animal welfare, ragwort contributes to the biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the countryside.

On the strategic road network, where ragwort presents a high risk of poisoning horses and livestock or spreading to fields used for the production of forage, National Highways prevents ragwort spreading. National Highways policy for Common Ragwort control applies Defra’s ‘Code of Practice on how to Prevent the Spread of Ragwort’.

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