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A dog has sadly passed away due to potentially eating palm oil on a beach In Sefton

There was really sad news that a dog has sadly passed away due to potentially eating palm oil on #Formby beach.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for harmful materials such as palm oil to wash up on the beach, so dog owners should always remain vigilant and not allow their dogs to eat anything on the beach.

If you suspect that your dog has consumed palm oil, please seek veterinary advice immediately. If anyone does see what they suspect to be palm oil on Formby beach, please report it to National Trust staff.

What does palm oil look like? It can be identified by a petrol-like, rancid smell. Some lumps typically have a yellow/white appearance, but many are difficult to spot as they are grey and covered in sand.

National Trust Formby have confirmed that signage is in place across the site to warn dog owners of the potential risk of palm oil.

Palm Oil was first spotted on beaches across Sefton in November 2017 when the National Trust in Formby confirmed that 6 tonnes of Palm Oil was collected in just over a week!

A Sefton Coast Landscape Partnerships spokesperson said: “Unfortunately decaying blocks of palm oil are continuing to wash up on the Sefton coast, especially to the north of the Alt Estuary, between #Formby and #Southport.”

“The yellow waxy material, with a grey outer crust, is harmless to humans, but can be fatal to dogs if they eat it. Dogs also find the material attractive, so are likely to head towards it. Pets should be kept under close control on the beach at present, especially on the tideline, although the material can appear anywhere after high tides, owners should remain vigilant."

According to Sefton Council, stormy weather meant that decaying palm oil from a 26 year old shipwreck washed up along the coastline.

The source of the substance is believed to be the wreck of the product tanker Kimya. In January 1991, the Kimya was caught in a severe storm in the Irish Sea, about 15 nm southwest of Holyhead; she radioed a mayday and reported a list of 45 degrees, and she capsized within 15 minutes of the call. When she sank, she took her load of palm oil to the bottom. Rescuers were only able to save two members of her 12-man crew. 

Beach users may consider lending a hand. As the material is harmless to humans (it is used in a wide range of household goods), it can be picked up safely, so if you're visiting the beach this weekend, why not bring a pair of gloves and a bag and pick up any smaller lumps of palm oil that you see.  It can be safely deposited in any bin along the coast. Better to bin it than leave it on the tideline where a dog may find it.  Please make sure you wash your hands (and gloves) after visiting.

More updates as we get them. For more information, please contact Sefton Council's coast and countryside team on 0151 934 2967.

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