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Lowestoft dogs help US oil clean-up

PUBLISHED: 11:10 28 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:28 06 July 2010

THEY may not worry too much about their hairstyle, but dogs getting a short back and sides in Lowestoft have been doing their bit to help an environmental crisis.

THEY may not worry too much about their hairstyle, but dogs getting a short back and sides in Lowestoft have been doing their bit to help an environmental crisis.

Hair trimmed from canine customers at Growlers grooming salon in Carlton Colville is being stored so that it can be sent off to America and used in giant booms which are being used to soak up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project is being run by the charity Matter of Trust, which has thousands of volunteers in warehouses in America stuffing hair from pet salons and hairdressers and other natural fibres into long sausage-like structures. They are then put along the coastline to soak up the oil leaking from a rig off the coast of Louisiana.

Anne Fisher, who runs Growlers from her home in Colsterdale, said: “I saw a piece on the television about hairdressers collecting hair to help the oil spill, and thought I could do the same with the dogs so I signed up.

“In an average week I end up with three or four black bin liners full of hair, which is just sent to landfill, so it's great to be able to find a use for it.”

After washing and untangling all of the hair, it needs to be packed into boxes and posted to the charity. “It's good to think that something I would've just thrown away is helping to soak up the oil,” she said.

Eleven workers were killed when the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon exploded on April 20. An estimated 26 million litres of crude oil have already spilled into the Gulf, damaging Louisiana's marshes and coating wildlife.

BP engineers are continuing to try to stem the leak, and have now started pumping heavy mud into the leaking well in its latest attempt to plug the gusher.

It hopes the mud could overpower the steady stream of oil, but it is expected to be at least 24 hours before officials know whether the attempt has worked.

For more information, or to sign up to the project, visit www.matteroftrust.org.

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