Dog owners warned of toxic palm oil threat on Fife beach

Dog owners across the Kingdom are being warned to stay vigilant after clumps of harmful palm oil were found washed up on a Fife beach.

By Neil Henderson
Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 8:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 9:22 am
Experts say it's likely the palm oil will wash up on other Fife beaches.
Experts say it's likely the palm oil will wash up on other Fife beaches.

The waste, which, because of its smell is attractive to dogs, can make the animal seriously ill if eaten.

Several large clumps of palm oil have being found on West Sands beach in St Andrews over the last 48 hours and coastal rangers are now warning dog owners to keep their pets under close control.

It’s the second time this year that the waxy substance, commonly used in food production, has been found at West Sands and experts say the material could wash up on more beaches along the Fife coastline.

A clup of palm oil on West Sands beach in St Andrews this week.

Ranald Strachan, a countryside ranger for Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, confirmed the latest finds and urged anyone who finds the waste product to report it without delay.

He said: “Because the waste is organic and smells, dags are likely to eat it and it’s the bacteria that is on the waste that proves harmful to pets and can cause symptoms such as sickness.

“We had palm oil wash up on West Sands back in February and mow we have found more.

“Because the material has definitely arrived on the beach by ‘sea to land’, it’s likely that more will be washed up on Fife beaches.

“Therefore we’d recommend that if you are walking your dog on the beach you keep it under close control or on a lead.”

The Trust is now asking for any dog owners of beach visitors who come across the substance to report it to them by calling 01592 656080 or via the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust’s Facebook page.