Warning to dog walkers after potentially toxic starfish found on beaches

Starfish have washed up on beaches across the region. Picture: PAUL MYNORS

Potentially toxic starfish have washed up on Suffolk beaches (file photo) - Credit: PAUL MYNORS

Dog walkers on the Suffolk coast have been warned to keep their pets on a lead after strong winds blew potentially toxic starfish onto beaches.

The Eastern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (EIFCA) has said it has been notified after marine wildlife was found along the Suffolk and Norfolk coast.

The EIFCA has said some of the stranded species, including some types of starfish, may contain paralytic shellfish toxins that could be harmful to humans and dogs if consumed.

Pets will likely develop a range of symptoms, such as loss of muscle co-ordination and paralysis of limbs, within 30 minutes if the starfish are eaten.

The EIFCA said: "If you plan to walk your dog on your local beach, please keep them on a lead and ensure they do not consume any stranded animals.

"If you suspect that your dog has consumed stranded fauna and is feeling unwell, please contact your local vet immediately."