Palm oil on Cornwall beaches sparks dog walker alert

palm oil Image copyright FRIENDS OF PORTHERAS COVE
Image caption The bright substance has washed up on several beaches in west Cornwall

A warning has been issued to dog owners after palm oil washed up on beaches in Cornwall.

Porthmeor in St Ives and Portheras Cove near Pendeen are among the beaches affected by the oily, yellow substance - which can be toxic to dogs.

Delia Webb from the Friends of Portheras Cove group, said it was "horrific" to see and has put up warning signs.

Cornwall Council is asking people to report any other sightings.

Image caption Palm oil can be attractive to some animals but it can be toxic to them

Palm oil can cause problems if released - legally - into the marine environment at sea by ships.

Whilst on the ships, and whilst in the sea, palm oil can become contaminated with other waste products and because it is edible, it can be attractive to some animals despite it being toxic to them.

Image caption A local volunteer group has put up signs to warn people of the substance

"You can't really miss it", Ms Webb said.

"I don't think we've ever seen this much coming ashore at one time - it's quite horrific when you see an orange rock pool.

"It's not like we usually see palm oil washing ashore in hard, waxier lumps. This seems to be very fresh - still very squishy, waxy, oily and it's forming tiny globules now."

Dog owners have been warned by the council to be particularly vigilant "as palm oil can be dangerous for dogs".

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has been made aware of the problem, which is being investigated.

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