Dog walkers have been warned about “washed-up pollution” that has made pets ill.

Community organisation Leave No Trace reported that a substance, believed to be palm oil, has washed up on the beach between Brunswick Square in Hove and The Meeting Place in Brighton.

The group said two dogs have consumed the substance and are now seriously ill and being treated and monitored at the vets.


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The washed-up substance is being investigated by the Animal Poison Line, Leave No Trace said.

A group spokesman said: “Apparently the dog’s vomit smells strongly of tar/chemicals (possibly a palm oil/diesel/chemical mix), and is being examined by the Animal Poison Line, we’ll update you with any more information as and when we have it.

“Needless to say, if your dog is a bit of a scavenger these areas are best avoided for the time being.

“Thanks to the member of the public who shared this information, really hope your dogs are okay.”

Palm oil can get into the marine environment when it is legally released at sea by ships when vessels wash out their tanks.

The resulting substances are often mixed with other chemicals such as diesel, making it extremely harmful if ingested.

When it washes up palm oil is white and waxy in appearance and can range in a variety of sizes from pebble-sized, semi-solid lumps to larger blocks and can smell of diesel.

Symptoms of palm oil ingestion in dogs include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Lethargy
  • In extreme cases, pancreatitis