Urgent warning to dog owners as 'lethal' palm oil washes up on Cornish beach

palm oil credit Cornwall Live
Large amounts of "lethal" palm oil have washed up on beaches in Cornwall. Credit: Cornwall Live

There is an urgent warning to dog walkers in parts of Cornwall after large amounts of "lethal" palm oil washed up on beaches.

A post shared on the Friends of Portheras Cove Facebook site says that the coastguard had been informed but they were unsure if they could move it due to it washing up on privately-owned coves.

Volunteers have removed parts of it from Pendeen Coves but were unable to remove all of it due to there being "large quantities" of the oil, which is found in many supermarket products.

The post pleaded with dog owners to keep their pets on leads and also keep children away.

After palm oil washed up on Polzeath beach in 2019, a spokesperson for Polzeath Coastguard said, "Palm oil is a natural edible vegetable oil that is commonly used in food processing and is a raw ingredient in many things.

"The problem isn’t the palm oil itself, but it can be contaminated with fuel waste, bacteria and other toxins."

Credit: Cornwall Live

Polzeath Coastguard added: "It can get into the marine environment when it is legally released at sea by ships. Whilst on the ships, and whilst in the sea, palm oil can become contaminated with other waste products and because its edible it can be attractive to some animals who can become ill after coming into contact with it.

"Palm oil can be observed in a variety of forms from large lumps to a scattering of pebble sizes pieces and is waxy in appearance.

"Although it is generally considered to be non-toxic and no danger to humans, elsewhere in the country there have been reports of dogs becoming ill after ingesting the substance."