DOG-WALKERS at Townhill Loch are being warned about harmful blue-green algae.

NHS Fife has warned of the potential dangers of blue-green algae in the Kingdom's ponds and lochs.

The poisonous algae can cause death to animals who drink contaminated water or swallow large quantities of scum.

There have been cases of dogs dying after swimming in affected lochs.

Deputy director of public health, Dr Esther Curnock, said: "People and animals can be affected as a result of direct contact with water affected by blue-green algae and we are advising the public, especially people undertaking water sports, anglers and dog owners, to be particularly vigilant and cautious as the warm and dry weather continues.

"Canoeists, wind-surfers and swimmers who come into contact with the algal scum or who accidentally swallow affected water can suffer from complaints such as skin rashes, eye irritation, vomiting, diarrhoea or pains in muscles and joints. These symptoms are usually mild but, in some cases, can be severe."

NHS Fife say it is not possible to tell if an algae scum is poisonous without laboratory testing so any sightings should be avoided and places without warning signs should be reported to Fife Council’s Building Standards and Public Safety service at:

"The risk to small animals like dogs is significant over the summer months as they tend to drink more water in the heat and may eat shoreline algal crusts," Dr Curnock continued.

"Dog owners should prevent their pets from coming into contact with water which could be affected.

"Fish caught in waters affected by blue-green algae should not be eaten and should not be fed to pets."

For further information on Blue-Green Algae in Fife, visit: