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Anglesey Community National News North Wales

Unusual ‘rock formations’ appearing on Welsh beaches might pose a hazard to dogs

Anglesey dog owners are being cautioned to be vigilant for palm oil deposits that have washed up on local beaches.

Substantial pieces of this pungent material have been extracted from the shoreline at Trearddur Bay, and surfers have noted additional occurrences afloat in the sea.

Palm oil is typically observed in the form of large, waxy blocks that may appear dark, yellowish, or white. Although it poses no harm to humans, it can be deadly to pets.

Beachgoers are advised to keep their dogs on leads and to steer clear of the substance.

On Wednesday morning (September 27), traces of palm oil residue were discovered, and concerns arose that the storm from the previous night might bring in additional deposits.

Dog owners are on heightened alert as palm oil, known for its sickly-sweet odour, is highly enticing to dogs and can lead to illness.

Palm oil, commonly used as an edible vegetable oil in various processed foods, is not toxic to dogs. However, it does have a mild laxative effect, and ingestion can lead to symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and dehydration. In severe cases, pancreatitis can occur.

Anglesey is considered a focal point for palm oil deposits due to a tragic shipwreck dating back to 1991. The Maltese vessel Kimya, which was transporting palm oil in its cargo, capsized during a storm approximately 16 miles southwest of Holyhead. Despite heroic rescue efforts, the incident claimed the lives of ten crew members.

Subsequent storms are believed to have altered the ship’s position and dislodged palm oil from its hold, some of which has washed up at Trearddur Bay. These solidified remnants on the beaches often resemble wax-coated pebbles or stones, displaying hues of white, yellow, or orange.

Warnings have previously been issued along the Pembrokeshire coastline following the tragic incident involving a three-year-old dog suspected of ingesting palm oil at Newgale beach.

Dog owners are advised to remain vigilant for any signs of illness in their pets after exposure to palm oil chunks and seek immediate veterinary care if such symptoms manifest. Additionally, when at sea, these floating palm oil deposits can absorb harmful substances like diesel, chemicals, and bacteria.