‘Poison parsnip’ warning to pet owners

A sign at Drains Bay warning dog owners about the dangers of "poisonous parsnips". INLT 34-377-PR
A sign at Drains Bay warning dog owners about the dangers of "poisonous parsnips". INLT 34-377-PR

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is warning dog walkers to be alert for ‘poisonous parsnips’, washing up on Browns Bay.

A council spokesperson said: “The roots of the Hemlock Water Dropwort or ‘poisonous parsnip’ as it is sometimes known, can sometimes be found washed up on beaches and is potentially dangerous to dogs if eaten or chewed on.

“The root looks like a parsnip but as many roots of plants look like parsnips, it is extremely difficult to identify a plant solely from its root.

“There have been cases in the past where people, domestic and farm animals and pets have become ill after eating some of these plants and mushrooms.

“Our advice is not to pick any wild plants or mushrooms unless absolutely certain on the species and be vigilant as to the types of material pets are picking up when out walking in the countryside and on beaches, especially at the mouths of rivers.”

Signs have been erected at various beaches across Mid and East Antrim.

Councils are not responsible for the removal of hemlock.