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Wednesday, 03 September 2014

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Poison on beaches warning to dog walkers

Dog walkers on the Solway coast are being warned to be on their guard over the bank holiday weekend after suspected palm oil was found on a beach in Maryport.

The Environment Agency and Allerdale council are investigating after a woman found the solidified substance on Tuesday while walking her dog.

Palm oil is a waxy white substance used in cooking.

If eaten by dogs it can cause them to writhe in agony, and in some cases it has proved fatal.

There have been recent reports of the substance being washed up on beaches on the Scottish side of the Solway Firth and, more frequently, in the south of England.

The woman who found the suspected oil took it home and contacted the Environment Agency, which passed the matter on to the council.

A spokeswoman said council officers would collect it from the woman and dispose of it safely.

She added: “If members of the public do spot something they believe is palm oil, they should keep dogs away from it and report it to our customer services team on 01900 702800 and we will arrange for it to be collected.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We will be working with the local authority to investigate this further and arrange for safe disposal.

“If members of the public find similar material on the beach they should report it to the local authority environmental health department.”

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