A NEW law to tackle the unchecked growth and spread of the deadly plant ragwort has taken a step nearer the statute books.
Batley and Spen Labour MP Mike Wood was in the Commons to support the Equine Welfare (Ragwort Control) Bill as it cleared its final stages before moving to the House of Lords.
The Bill seeks to protect horses, ponies and donkeys from the dangers of ragwort poisoning, by introducing a system to make controlling it easier.
Mr Wood said: "The Bill has made a lot of progress this year, but there is still a lot of work ahead.
"In spite of the prediction that 1,500 horses will be poisoned by ragwort by the end of this year, I suspect the Bill will attract some hostility in the House of Lords."
Mr Wood said he hoped the Bill became law before ragwort started flowering next year.
Ragwort poisoning attacks the horse's liver, but symptoms do not appear until the latter stages, by which time an agonising death is inevitable.
The Bill seeks to make landowners responsible for effectively controlling ragwort and preventing it spreading on to grazing land used by horses, ponies and donkeys.