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Home True TRUE – White Lumps of Palm Oil Washed Up on UK Beaches Dangerous to Dogs

TRUE – White Lumps of Palm Oil Washed Up on UK Beaches Dangerous to Dogs

by Brett M. Christensen


Circulating social media message claims that mysterious white lumps of palm oil being washed up on southern UK beaches can be deadly to dogs.

Brief Analysis

The core information in the warning is valid and worth heeding. White lumps of a substance believed to be congealed and rancid palm oil have indeed been washing up on some UK beaches since around October 2013. Dogs who eat the substance can become very ill. Some dogs have died, and media reports suggest that vets have been attending to poisoning cases every day in some areas. However, almost all dogs recover, and the claim in the circulating message that the palm oil is ‘killing a dog a day’ is unfounded.


Mysterious white lumps called Palm Oil is being washed up on the beaches by the intense storms in the south of the UK. This is deadly to dogs. It has killed a dog a day so far in Devon and Cornwell, and is making it’s way to the shores of Kent – particularly in Dover, Folkestone and Hythe. It’s already been spotted in Rye and Camber Sands. Be extra cautious & please share!

Palm oil lumps on beach warning


Detailed Analysis

According to a warning message that is currently circulating via social media, dog owners should watch out for ‘mysterious white lumps’ of palm oil that are being washed up on some beaches in the south of the UK.

The message claims that the substance is deadly to dogs and has been killing a dog a day in Devon and Cornwell. The message warns dog owners to be extra cautious and asks users to share the information with others.
The core information in the message is true and dog owners should indeed be cautious. The substance is certainly dangerous to dogs and can indeed be fatal. A number of news articles report that dogs have become ill after eating white lumps washed up on some UK beaches. Some dogs have reportedly died as a result. The contamination has been occurring since October 2013.

UK Health authorities have identified the substance as rancid and congealed palm oil. Dogs are apparently attracted to the lumps and may try to eat them.

However, the claim in the circulating warning that a dog a day has been killed by the palm oil is misleading. Media reports suggest that vets have been attending to palm oil poisoning cases every day for some periods, but almost all dogs make a full recovery.

The exact source of the palm oil remains unclear. It has been suggested that it may come from a ship washing out its tanks and dumping the residue at sea.

Dog owners should certainly be vigilant when taking their animals to beaches in the affected areas. If your dog does eat some of the palm oil, you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,