TOXINS found in Lurgan Park Lake are poisonous to animals, says Craigavon Borough Council.
A warning has been issued to animal owners to ensure they don’t have access to the lake.
All fishing has also been suspended.
One dog owner said on Facebook: “Could you please make all dog owners aware that a poisonous toxin has been confirmed in the water in Lurgan Park. Signs only went up today (Tuesday). My own dog is sick and is being treated while awaiting blood results taken today (Tuesday). It effects the liver and can be fatal. From a very worried dog owner, Colin and an ill dog, Buddy.”
The Chief Veterinary Officer for the Department of Agriculture Northern Ireland said the toxin which may be produced by the blue-gree algae currently growing on the lake is poisonous to animals and can cause severe illness and death.
The Council said its staff at Lurgan Park on Monday noticed an increase in green algae on the lake and due to the predicted weather they investigated the possibility of blue green algae and contacted colleagues in Environmental Health.
On Tuesday morning, water samples were taken, and were immediately brought to the Laboratories at Lisburn for testing.
“Later that afternoon, we got confirmation of blue-green algal presence and immediately place eight warning notices throughout the park at key locations,” said a spokesperson.
“Algae is naturally present in the lake, however due to adequate sunlight which we are currently having, water temperature and nutrients in the water, the natural growth of blue-green algae can take place, forming algal blooms. Research in 1993 by the Department of Agriculture for NI, has indicated that blue-green algae are present in the majority of fresh water bodies thoroughout NI for most of the year and have the potential to form blooms.
“Research into the risk to health is still on-going,” said the Council.
“There is little direct evidence that fish deaths are due blue-green algal toxins. Although data indicates that toxins are unlikely to be accumulated by fish to a significant degree – as a precaution all fishing is temporarily suspended.