Ragwort is poisonous to livestock and needs to be handled with care, particularly as the recent humid weather has led to a proliferation of the weed along roadsides.
Farmers have to be especially vigilant because ragwort can kill cattle and horses if it is ingested.
It is also toxic for people and can cause allergic reactions if it is absorbed through the skin.
The advice is to wear protective waterproof gardening gloves when handling ragwort plants and arms and legs should be covered.
Face masks should also be worn to avoid inhaling the weed’s pollen which can cause hay fever.
Plants that are pulled should be destroyed or put into landfill.
Local authorities and Transport Infrastructure Ireland are responsible for the removal of weeds from main roads and motorways.
Farmers also have the responsibility to ensure their lands are ragwort free.