The thousands of dead, diseased pigs that were recently dumped into a river that runs through Shanghai could easily have made it onto Chinese dinner plates—and indeed, other pigs that died in Jiaxing City, the origin of the recent epidemic of pig deaths, did.
The only reason so many pigs were dumped this time, a Chinese news report reveals, is because a recent crackdown by the authorities blocked off most of the underground channels through which such pigs were usually disposed. Farmers had to then offload, en masse, the remainder they couldn’t sell.
Xinmin Evening News, a local newspaper, recently sent a reporter to Jiaxing, a municipality near Shanghai, to ask farmers what was going on. They all spoke on condition of anonymity, but revealed a range of details about the origin of the mysterious floating pigs, last counted at 7,545.
Local residents said that thousands of pigs died after an epidemic (probably caused by porcine circovirus, a common pig disease which is understood not to be harmful to humans), and that the situation was “totally out of control.”
Another farmer interviewed said that on previous occasions when there has been a spate of pig deaths, farmers had been able to push the diseased meat through underground channels, where butchers then peddle it an unsuspecting public. There were six “underground industries” that used the dead pigs, he said. “But only two of them are operating now,” after the crackdown.
The farmer reasoned that the two remaining disposal channels were unable to process all the dead pigs this time, resulting in the rest being thrown into the river.
When the Xinmin Evening News reporter went to the local epidemic control center he saw large piles of pigs, far more than the burial pits that were then available. Chinese regime officials have not yet given a public explanation about the source of the pigs, the identity of their disposers, or whether diseased pig meat made it to market.
One of the farmers interviewed by Xinmin Evening News was confident that that took place regularly. “To speak frankly, previously all dead pigs over 50 pounds made it to the dinner table.”
Read the original Chinese article.
Translation by Leo Chen. Written in English by Matthew Robertson.
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