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Warning over ‘toxic’ palm oil

Rancid palm oil - which can be deadly if dogs eat it - has been found on Rossall beach in Cleveleys

Rancid palm oil - which can be deadly if dogs eat it - has been found on Rossall beach in Cleveleys

A substance believed to kill dogs if they ingest it has washed up on the Fylde coast.

Dog walkers in Cleveleys and Rossall are being warned to keep their pets away from what is thought to be rancid palm oil.

The white wax-like substance is irresistible to dogs but could have fatal consequences if they eat it.

The substance was first discovered on English soil in October last year in Cornwall and was responsible for killing “a dog a day”, according to Cornwall Council.

Jane Littlewood, of Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group, said: “Through our own interest in beaches, we originally came across the very worrying information from our friends at the Facebook page Newquay Beachcombing but didn’t know that it had been found here.

“Since publishing the original warning we’ve discovered that it has also been found at Cleveleys and Fleetwood, where one pet very nearly died last summer after eating it on the beach.

“The information has been passed to the relevant councils and dog walkers are asked to be aware and vigilant on our beaches.

“Although the substance can be seen in solid white waxy blocks, which are easy to spot, when it breaks up against the shore it breaks down into grain like particles which then collect along the strandline – making it more difficult to see and avoid.”

If a dog walker believes their dog has eaten the substance they should take it to a vet immediately and within 30 minutes, experts say.

Lisa Richards of the RSPCA’s companion animal department said: “The RSPCA is aware of these reports, and our specialist companion animal science department is currently investigating the matter.

“However, at present we have been unable to verify any reported cases of palm oil being toxic to animals.”

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