'It is clear from the responses that most people want to see it retained. Far from seeing it as a burden on British agriculture, they consider that the Act serves a useful purpose in providing a helpful lever to put pressure on individuals and authorities to take action to remedy weed problems. We have therefore decided to retain the Weeds Act and the powers of enforcement that go with it.
'However, the prime responsibility for controlling weeds will remain with occupiers of land. We look to them to shoulder their responsibility as part of good land management and for good neighbourly relations.'
The consultation on the possible repeal of the Weeds Act 1959 was announced on 8 July and the consultation period closed on 31 August. The Weeds Act empowers Agriculture Ministers in Great Britain to take action against occupiers of land from which certain weeds are spreading. These weeds are: common ragwort; spear thistle; creeping, or field, thistle; curled dock; and broad-leaved dock.