By Fiona Frawley
The toxins were reportedly found in black sludge that the dogs came into contact with.
Six devastated families are looking for answers as their beloved pet dogs all died suddenly after walking near the banks of Lough Melvin in county Fermanagh. Tests indicate that toxic blue algae was found in the systems of the dogs. Their owners have since organised independent tests to see if the results match those taken in samples collected by Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Belfast Live has reported.
The agency were told that none of the dogs had been into the water, but that they had all been in contact with a black sludge material on the shore.
However, Belfast Live has also reported that the water samples NIEA took on their first visit to the lake showed no toxic algae. More dogs have died since the first samples were taken, and warning signs have since been erected.
The dogs who passed away after walking by the lake include 11 month old saluki lurcher Axel and 8 year old terrier Mollie.
A spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs DAERA) told Belfast Live: “The Northern Ireland Environment Agency received a report on Thursday evening 1 June of the death of a dog on 31 May 2023 at Lough Melvin, Garrison.
“A subsequent report of the death of another dog was received on 2 June 2023. A Water Quality Officer was tasked to investigate for evidence of water pollution.
“At the time of the inspection on 2 June, the inspector did not observe any evidence of an algal bloom, dead fish or any other signs of water pollution including sewage in the water. However, as a precautionary measure a water sample was taken for algal analysis.”