New palm oil warning for dog walkers on Sussex beaches

Cooden Beach near Bexhill

Palm oil spotted at Cooden Beach and Galley Hill near Bexhill

As we're based very close to the beach in Seaford, East Sussex, we thought we'd post a brief article today to warn local dog walkers to keep an eye on their pets if they decide to take a stroll by the sea anywhere along the East Sussex coastline.

Back in November of 2015, a white, waxy substance that was thought to be palm oil was found on the beach in Seaford. A similar story has hit the papers again back in 2017, but on that occasion, the same substance was found along the coast between Newhaven and Brighton. There were also previous reports at Rottingdean and Saltdean beaches

Today, in 2021, palm oil lumps have once again been spotted, but this time it's at Cooden Beach and Galley Hill near Bexhill.

What is palm oil?

Palm oil is an edible type of vegetable oil that comes from the pulp of the fruit of African, American and Maripa palm trees. It's widely used to make processed foods, everyday toiletries and it's also used as a type of biofuel. Surprisingly, it's also used as a cleaning agent to clean the tanks on large ships.

According to the Bexhill Observer, a spokesman for Bexhill Coastguard is quoted as saying:

“While palm oil is not poisonous to dogs, it does have a laxative effect and, if eaten, can cause sickness, diarrhoea, dehydration and, in extreme cases, pancreatitis."

So, whilst palm oil may not be poisonous in all cases, the spokesman did go on to add that it can cause blockages and some dogs may get seriously ill if they eat too much of it.

What does palm oil look like?

palm oil beachThe substance is fairly easy to spot and smells remarkably similar to diesel. If you see any, make sure your family pet doesn't take an interest in it as it's toxic to them and could result in serious harm if they ingest any of it.

It's probably a good idea to also keep your dog on a lead until this most recent threat has abated.

It goes without saying that if you think your dog may have ingested any palm oil, keep a close eye on it and/or contact your local vet. 

Keep vigilant!

At the moment, palm oil has only been spotted at Cooden and Galley Hill but that doesn't mean to say it hasn't been washed up on other beaches along the Sussex coastline. With this in mind, please remain vigilant and report any other sightings of palm oil to the coastguard.

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