Laboratory testing has shown that palm oil found on Lincolnshire beaches is non-toxic, but people should still keep their dogs away from the substance as it can cause serious illness and even death to their pets.
As previously reported, East Lindsey District Council did a patrol and survey at Mablethorpe Beach before running tests on suspected palm oil and the substance can take a variety of forms including pebble-sized lumps.
Palm oil is used in products including foods, soap and biofuels and can get into the marine environment when it is legally released at sea by ships and it can become contaminated with other waste products.
The substance is edible and can be attractive to some animals and dogs can become seriously ill if they ingest it, so anyone who believes their dog has been in contact with it and is concerned about their health should take it to a vet.
It is advised that children and pets should be kept away from the deposits of the substance and if any contact is made with it to wash it off with soap or shower gel and to wash clothes.
A statement from East Lindsey District Council said: “Some dogs that have consumed small quantities of palm oil have suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea, which has led to severe dehydration.
“Some dogs that have eaten larger amounts of the substance have suffered a range of effects including kidney damage, liver failure and blockages of the gut. In some instances this has resulted in the dog needing to be put down.”
North East Lincolnshire Council recently collected lumps on Cleethorpes beach mechanically with a beach a rake and by hand with litter pickers, while wardens from the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust also picked up pieces of the substance from the beach at Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes Nature Reserve for safe disposal.