Dog owners warned after strange substance washes up on beaches

A dog walker on Kessingland beach. Picture: Nick Butcher

A dog walker on Kessingland beach. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant © 2011

Dog walkers have been urged to stay watchful of their pets after unfamiliar substance began washing up on several beaches.

The white clumps started surfacing on the shoreline in Norfolk and Suffolk over the past few days, with numerous reports from members of the public likening the objects to solidified palm oil.

Waveney District Council tweeted on Sunday that they have received reports of palm oil washing up on the beach at Kessingland, saying 'although these reports are not verified, we would like walkers, particularly with dogs to be aware.

'Although it is not toxic, it is a substance which can cause illness in animals if ingested in quantity.'

In a further statement, a spokesman said: 'We are monitoring the situation and will take appropriate action to clear if required.'

Meanwhile, a post on the Southwold Facebook page warned dog owners to 'watch closely what your dog eats on the beach.' Dozens of social media users responded to the post, with one commenting they had seen the substance on Sizewell beach and another on Lowestoft north beach.

Twitter user Cate Henderson said she had seen objects the 'size of a tennis ball' on Pakefield beach as early as Thursday, March 1. She said her Labrador ate some of the substance, but 'clearly didn't like it and left it.'

This latest warning to dog walkers comes just nine weeks after a family's beloved golden retriever died within an hour of eating a fish washed up on Cley beach in North Norfolk.

Various cases of sickness among dogs were subsequently reported in the ensuing weeks, leading to dog owners expressing their concerns about the potential risks involved in taking their furry friends for walks on the region's beaches.

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