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Lynn dog owners await test results after being urged not to exercise pets on open space

todayMarch 11, 2021 14

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Dog owners are being urged not to exercise their pets in a popular area of open space, amid fears that toxins may be present in the water there.

Tests are being carried out by the Environment Agency at the duck pond on South Wootton Common after reports that three pets had died after being exercised in and around the area since the turn of the year.

A spokesperson for the Enviroment Agency said: “Samples have been taken from the pond and sent to the laboratory for testing after fears over blue-green algae.

“It is hoped we will have the test results back by the middle of next week.”

South Wootton Common pond (44048449)
South Wootton Common pond (44048449)

“The Environment Agency collects samples when reports are received of the presence of blue green algae on lakes and other waterbodies, and analyses them to confirm its presence.

“Once an algal bloom is confirmed, then that information is sent to the landowners and other statutory bodies so that signs can be displayed to warn lake users of the presence of potentially toxic blue green algae.

“Blue green algal blooms can cause foaming on shorelines, turn water blue green or greenish brown and may produce musty, earthy or grassy odours.”

South Wootton Parish Council, on the advice of West Norfolk Council, has asked for the samples to be taken.

The authority put up warning signs around the area on Tuesday following social media posts suggesting that at least two dogs have already died.

The issue comes just weeks after similar warnings were issued in relation to another site in West Norfolk.

Parish council clerk Tracey Cornwell said she had been alerted to a Facebook post .

Comments on the social media platform suggest there may already have been as many three deaths connected to the area, plus other cases of illness.

Mrs Cornwell said: “The parish council has not received any communication from anyone stating that their pets have become ill, but this afternoon I have contacted the West Norfolk borough council’s Environmental Health department to see if they can take a water sample.

“When I spoke with them, they were not aware that any samples had been taken.

“I will also place notices up around the village green warning people not to walk their dogs on the green for the time being.”

Last month, warning notices were also put up in the Willows nature reserve in Downham, advising pet owners to keep their dogs out of water where blue-green algae, which can be fatal to dogs, was known to be present.

Any owner who thinks their dog may be suffering from algae poisoning is advised to contact their vet immediately.

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