Health risk on our beaches
One of the great joys of living in Norfolk is the opportunity to walk on beaches, often deserted, with our dogs running happily off the lead but there is a danger that we all must be aware of.
Over the last few days, the national press has been covering the issue of discarded Palm Oil lumps, washed out of cargo vessels that flush their holds while at sea. These grey to white mini bergs of congealed oil wash up on our beaches. As the daily telegraph put it: “Dog walkers have been told to remain vigilant and not let their animals lick the white clumps of oil which litter the coast of Norfolk, Wales and Cornwall. Concerned residents in North Norfolk have reported finding the substance on many beaches including Cromer, Sheringham and Sea Palling.”
Palm oil is not directly poisonous to dogs, however, it does have a strong laxative effect and, if eaten, can cause sickness, diarrhoea, dehydration and in extreme cases, this can lead to pancreatitis. Dogs can become seriously ill after ingesting palm oil and unfortunately, it can be attractive to them.
So what can we do? Keep walking your beloved beaches, remain vigilant, use a lead if you are worried and keep your eyes open for Palm Oil. Not all dogs are attracted to it but if yours is…. the outcome can be unfortunate.
There will always be Palm Oil washed into our seas by cargo vessels as the oil is used in a huge number of products, from foods to cosmetics. The incidence on the beach is dependent upon weather conditions and storms particularly wash it ashore we must never assume that our beaches are totally clear. Not sure what it looks like then click here
A palm oil lump