Deadly waste washed up on Britain’s beaches is killing dogs or leaving them writhing in agony.
At least three pets have died and dozens more have been poisoned after swallowing
solidified palm oil believed to have been dumped at sea.
The waxy white substance, possibly contaminated with cleaning fluid or diesel oil,
has been found on beaches along virtually the entire UK coast.
At one stage a single veterinary practice in Cornwall was treating cases
at the rate of one or two a day for three weeks.
Now maritime, environment and animal welfare organisations
are warning dog owners to steer clear of the toxic substance and report any findings.
The extent of the pollution came to light after the Daily Mail pieced together
a string of separate cases dating back to October. Severe storms are thought to have driven the waste ashore.
Although palm oil is extensively used in food products, it can be fatal to dogs in solid form
and owners without pet insurance are being left with huge bills for emergency veterinary treatment.
The latest victim was 23-month-old lurcher-Staffordshire terrier cross Dave, who died after a walk with owner Fiona Crook on Mothecombe beach in Devon,
near her home on the outskirts of Plymouth.
Mrs Crook said he became violently sick hours after playing with a large white chunk of a lard-like substance.
She took the dog to a vet, who referred him to a specialist in Wellington, Somerset.
‘His kidneys and liver were horribly damaged,’ she told the Mail.
‘The specialists did everything they could for him but he didn’t make it.’
Mrs Crook and her husband Stephen, a plumbing and heating engineer,
said losing Dave was ‘really difficult’ for them and daughters Lucy, 13, and Kerry, six.
Lucy Garrett Peel saw Zanzi, her three-year-old miniature schnauzer, suffer an agonising death after swallowing a marble-size ball of solidified oil from the beach at Marazion, south Cornwall.
Mrs Garrett Peel, the National Trust’s handbook editor, was walking with 14-year-old daughter Cicely when she noticed Zanzi chewing something. She said:
‘She started being sick about 15 minutes later.
‘We immediately took her to the vet and she had an emergency operation.
She died that night. Whatever it was got stuck in her stomach. It was tested and found
to be extremely rancid palm oil, containing some very nasty bacteria.’
Laura Kleckham’s collie-border cross Poppy died after eating some oil on a beach at Portwrinkle, south-east Cornwall. Other poisoning cases have been reported in Brighton, Shoreham and Worthing.
The RSPCA said it was investigating and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it was monitoring the situation.
A mysterious toxin killing dogs in the New Forest has claimed its 14th victim. Tracy Graham’s flat-coated retriever Erin died of kidney failure after contracting the ‘Alabama rot’ illness.
Find the responsible ones and put them in jail!