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Beach advice for West Norfolk dog-owners after pets die of shellfish toxins


Dog-owners are being warned of the dangers of their pets consuming potentially poisonous items on beaches, following the deaths of two dogs.

It comes after a Siberian Husky died after eating a shore crab in Suffolk earlier this month, which officials say is “highly likely” to have been because of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).

It follows similar findings after a Golden Retriever died having eaten fish on the beach at Cley on New Year’s Eve.

The Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) has said, despite these findings, there is a low level of risk to beach users and their pets, although simple precautions are recommended.

A spokesman said: “PSP is a naturally occurring marine biotoxin. PSP toxins are primarily associated with bivalve molluscs such as mussels, clams, oysters and scallops.”

The Eastern IFCA is seeking to establish the source and extent of the PSP contamination with help from relevant agencies.

Julian Gregory, CEO of Eastern IFCA, said: “It is important that we take a measured and joined-up approach in working to find out what the extent of PSP contamination may be.

“At this point there is nothing to indicate that species sold for human consumption such as brown crabs or lobster are affected but as a precautionary measure we are sampling a range of marine animals to ensure that any ongoing PSP contamination is identified.”

The spokesman said there is no risk from the presence of PSP toxins in seawater.

Dog-walkers are being advised to take simple precautions, including keeping their pets under close control on leads, or muzzled.

Anyone whose pet becomes ill after consuming items on a beach is asked to report it to the district or borough council for the area where it occurred.

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