Warning to dog owners as 'Palm Oil Fatbergs' wash up on Irish beaches

One of the Palm Oil Fatbergs that washed up at Hoares Rock, Skerries, last weekend. © Fingal County Council
One of the Palm Oil Fatbergs that washed up at Hoares Rock, Skerries, last weekend. © Fingal County Council

People walking on beaches along the east coast have been warned to watch out for 'palm oil fatbergs' after some washed up on shore in Skerries, north County Dublin.

It is believed the palm oil fell from a ship in the English Channel about 18 months ago and was washed ashore during last weekend's storm.

Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the pulp of the fruit of African, American and Maripa palms. The waxy substance smells strongly of fire-lighters.

Fingal County Council issued the caution, as the palm oil fatbergs, although harmless to humans, can be particularly dangerous to dogs.

TV vet Marc Abraham warned that 'as the palm oil is so gelatinous it can get lodged in the oesophagus of your pet and require emergency surgery'.

A spokesperson for Fingal County Council said “We believe the discovery of this material in Skerries on Sunday is an isolated incident as we have not had any other sightings along the Fingal coastline."

"The material is a solid white substance which is known as a ‘Palm Oil Fatberg’ and they can range in size from being as small as a golf ball to as big as a boulder. We are asking the public to be vigilant as this substance can be harmful to dogs."

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