Dog owners in west Cornwall are being warned to be on the alert after new reports of palm oil – blamed for the death of a family pet in November – being washed ashore on St Ives and Hayle beaches.
The waxy white solid started to appear on our shores before Christmas and was linked to the poisoning of Zanzi, a miniature schnauzer that died within days of eating the substance on Long Rock beach, leaving his holidaymaker owners devastated.
After eating the substance the three-year-old was rushed to Mount’s Bay Veterinary Centre but an emergency operation to remove the glue-like blockage in his insides could not save him.
The substance was identified by Public Health England as palm oil, which is thought to have turned rancid.
It was located on beaches in Penzance, Praa Sands and Porthcurno more than two weeks ago, forcing the council to put up warning signs.
Penzance vets were inundated with calls from worried pet-owners and saw several cases of dogs who had taken ill after eating the rancid oil.
Now St Ives Police have issued a new warning saying the substance has been reported again in St Ives and Hayle.
The warning to dog owners on their Facebook page on Sunday read: “A possible harmful substance to dogs has been found washed up on a St Ives Beach.
“Although harmless to humans can cause nasty side effects in dogs if eaten. The Environment Agency are aware. Please keep an eye on your pets over the coming weeks when on the local beaches and keep them safe. Hopefully this is just a one off following the recent bad weather, forewarned is forearmed!!”
And on Monday Hayle Veterinary Surgery ran their own warning on Facebook.
It read: “POISON WARNING - it seems the rancid palm oil that has been making dogs ill has been washed up again on local beaches (Newquay, St Ives and Hayle). Please keep your eyes peeled and your dogs away, if eaten this can be fatal within hours. Please share and warn other dog owners.”
The surgery said they had not had any pets brought to the surgery as a result of the new reports, but were still keen to get the message out.
Falmouth Coastguard said they were not aware of any incidents involving palm oil at the moment.