What to do if you spot palm oil on North Devon beaches

This lump of palm oil was found on Westward Ho! beach.

This lump of palm oil was found on Westward Ho! beach. - Credit: Archant

There have been several sightings of palm oil, known to be toxic to dogs, on North Devon beaches. Find out what to do if you spot any.

This piece of palm oil was discovered in Appledore. Palm oil is toxic to dogs and can be fatal.

This piece of palm oil was discovered in Appledore. Palm oil is toxic to dogs and can be fatal. - Credit: Archant

Palm oil is a white, waxy substance, which has been sighted several times in recent months on North Devon beaches.

It is used in cooking many everyday food items, but is often found on beaches in its waste form – large, white-coloured waxy lumps.

Palm oil is not toxic to humans, but can cause serious illness or even be fatal for dogs, and if you think your dog has ingested it, you should take them to a vet immediately.

What is palm oil?


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Palm oil is a type of edible vegetable oil, derived from the palm fruit of the African oil palm tree.

It is used in many edible products and involved in a lot of controversy with environmental campaigners blaming it for the decimation of rainforests.

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In its waste form, it can be found washed up on beaches, including ones in North Devon.

What should I do if I find palm oil?

There have been several sightings of palm oil in North Devon, including on Westward Ho! in November 2014 and again in February 2015.

In December 2014 a dog walker also discovered some in Appledore and there have been sightings across the South coast of Devon and in Cornwall.

What should I do if my dog eats palm oil?

If you find palm oil, you should keep your dog away from it, and call the Coastguard, who can deal with it accordingly.

If you think your dog has eaten or even licked any palm oil, you should take them to the vet immediately and tell them what has happened.

If you spot any palm oil on the beach, you can also contact the newsdesk on newsdesk@northdevongazette.co.uk

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