A WARNING has been issued after a plant that is deadly for dogs was found on Millisle geach.

Hemlock Water Droplet, better known as Dead Man’s Fingers or Poisonous Parsnip, has roots that are extremely toxic to humans and animals, with deaths reported less than 20 minutes after the plant has been eaten by dogs.
One of the most dangerous indigenous plants in Northern Ireland, the plants grow naturally in coastal areas and wetlands, and stormy conditions often expose the poisonous roots.
Dog owners, horse owners and parents are being urged not allow their pets or children to come into contact with the roots.
If a pet eats even the smallest amount of this plant, dog owners are being advised to seek veterinary attention immediately.

North Down MLA, Alex Easton, said Poisonous Parsnips are not something encountered regularly on local beaches but it worth keeping an eye out for them when walking.

“Wild Parsnip is a plant with Furanocoumarin with in it,” he said. “When skin comes in contact with the sap form the wild parsnip, the furanocoumarin makes it extra sensitive to UV light.

“If your skin is then exposed to sunlight an inflammatory reaction takes place. This results in painful burning and a blistering rash to the skin and you would need to see a pharmacist.

“If your dog comes in contact with this and ingests it then it can be fatal to your dog, and I would take my dog to a vet straight away.

“If you find Poisonous Parsnips on the beach it is best that you contact the council and have them removed,” said Mr Easton.