A dog has died on a popular beach after reportedly eating deadly palm oil while out on a walk.

National Trust Formby confirmed the news on their Facebook page today (January 13) and said they were aware the dog had "sadly" died.

It is not clear when the pet visited the beach and when it died, however the Trust warned other owners of the dangers of palm oil.

Palm oil is used mainly in food, soaps, shampoos and biofuels but, when washed up on shorelines, appears as yellow boulder-sized chunks which emit a smell of diesel - which is attractive to dogs and bird life.

If ingested or licked, the substance can prove deadly.

Large amounts of palm oil were found along the Sefton coast in the summers of 2017 and 2018 after washing up from a two decade-old shipwreck.

Extensive clearance efforts were carried out by Sefton Council and signs have been put in place warning of the harmful effects.

One person commented on the post:  "I'm so very sorry for the person/people whose dog passed away. Utterly heartbreaking.

"So many of us take our dogs out for a nice run on the beach and are unaware of the life-threatening hazard that this toxic waste poses to our pets.

"I hope there are numerous signs posted to alert all dog owners of this danger to life."

The Facebook post from the National Trust said: "We are aware that a dog has sadly passed away due to potentially eating palm oil on Formby beach.

"Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for harmful materials such as palm oil to wash up on the beach, so dog owners should always remain vigilant and not allow their dogs to eat anything on the beach.

"If you suspect that your dog has consumed palm oil, please seek veterinary advice immediately. If anyone does see what they suspect to be palm oil on Formby beach, please report it to National Trust staff.

"What does palm oil look like? It can be identified by a petrol-like, rancid smell. Some lumps typically have a yellow/white appearance, but many are difficult to spot as they are grey and covered in sand."

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A spokesman for Green Sefton said: “Palm Oil debris is an ongoing problem as so much of it floats around our oceans.

 “While Palm Oil debris is harmless to humans it can be fatal to dogs if eaten. For this reason pet owners are asked to remain vigilant if walking their dog on the coast, especially around tide-lines.

 “Warning signs are on display throughout the Sefton Coast and anyone who discovers palm oil is encouraged to call 0151 934 2961 and report it.”