THE hair of the dog has long been touted as a reliable remedy — but not for a multi-million-barrel oil slick.

Three dog-groomers from a Didcot-based business are bagging up the trimmings from their canine clients and sending them to the Gulf of Mexico to help soak up the disastrous BP oil spill.

Jane Allum, Mel Parker and Mandie Sherrell, of Pooch Mobile, are sending the dog hair to the American charity Matter of Trust, which is using both human and animal hair to aid clean-up efforts.
The charity is stuffing hair in tights and weaving it into dense mats, which can then be used to soak oil still leaking from BP’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, which blew up and sank in April killing 11 workmen and discharging millions of barrels of crude oil.

Environmentalists believe it could soon become the USA’s worst oil disaster in history and destroy the habitats of hundreds of species of wildlife.

Hair salons around the world are taking part in the initiative, which was publicised through Facebook.
Mrs Allum, who grooms dogs at Wallingford, said she was collecting several carrier bags full of dog hair each week, and posting them to the USA.

She said: “My mum heard about it on Facebook and really thought I should be involved. We all thought that for the sake of an incident like this, we all try and do our bit to help.

“Usually the hair just gets thrown away, but now whenever we brush a dog or trim a dog, we are bagging up all the hair and sending it off.

“We each do about 15 or 20 dogs a day.

“At the moment I’ve got a whole carrier bag full of hair from the last two days.”

She added: “Most of our clients have been really surprised. Nobody could imagine that dog hair could be put to any use like that.

“I didn’t know either. Obviously, I knew dog hair attracts oil, but I never thought it could be used like this.”

BP said a fifth of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico was being collected by a bypass pipe.

The company and the US Coast Guard have estimated that about 210,000 gallons of oil are gushing out into the sea every day, although scientists who have studied videos of the leak said it could be much bigger.

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