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Palm oil on beaches around north coast of Cornwall

Palm oil on beaches around north coast of Cornwall

Published by Emma Carton at 7:30am 17th November 2019. (Updated at 7:39am 17th November 2019)

More potentially dangerous palm oil has washed up around Cornwall.

Pirate FM told you about clumps covering the beaches in St Ives.

Now Friends of Portheras Cove says it has had reports along the north coast.

The group, based at Pendeen, has issued a warning urging owners to keep dogs away.

Palm Oil in North Cornwall
There are reports of palm oil washing up on beaches along the north Cornwall coast. Photo: Friends of Portheras Cove


Posting on its Facebook page last week, Friends of Portheras said the Coastguard was investigating.

"The coves around Pendeen and other North Cornish beaches are heavily contaminated with an orange waxy substance thought to be palm oil after last night's storm.

"We have reported it to the coastguard and they are currently investigating.

"This can be highly dangerous to dogs so keeping clear is the best advice".

Friends of Portheras Cove

Palm Oil in North Cornwall
Friends of Portheras Cove has issued a warning to dog owners, as palm oil can be dangerous to pets. Photo: Friends of Portheras Cove


What is palm oil and why is it dangerous to dogs?

Palm oil is a waxy substance, often white, yellow or orange in colour.

Whilst it is not toxic to people, Vets Now explains why it can be dangerous to dogs.

"While palm oil is not poisonous to dogs, it does have a laxative effect and, if eaten, can cause sickness, diarrhoea, dehydration and, in extreme cases, pancreatitis.

"It can also cause blockages in the gut due to its semi-solid state.

"Some dogs have become seriously ill after ingesting palm oil.

"Much of the risk from palm oil is thought to derive from other toxic products mixed in it such a diesel oil from ships".

Vets Now

Palm Oil in North Cornwall
Warnings signs have been put up after reports of palm oil on beaches along the north Cornwall coast, including St Ives. Photo: Friends of Portheras Cove


What should I do if my dog swallows palm oil?

Vets now says owners concerned their dog has eaten palm oil should contact their vet or, out of hours, their nearest emergency clinic or 24/7 hospital.

They say it is unlikely the vet will induce sickness as it may increase the risk of inhalation and add that you should not attempt to make your dog sick yourself.

Read more advice from Vets Now, including articles on owners whose pets have eaten palm oil.

If you see palm oil on the beach people are asked to report sightings to 0300 1234 141.

You can find more information from Cornwall Council here.

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