Over 6000 Dead Pigs Float Through Shanghai (Updated)

By Li Xia, Epoch Times
March 12, 2013 10:16 pm Last Updated: March 14, 2013 11:08 am

Over the last few weeks, the carcasses of around 6,600 dead pigs, that reportedly died from porcine circovirus, have been fished out from the Huangpu River flowing through Shanghai.

Sanitation workers (L) collect a dead pig
Sanitation workers (L) collect a dead pig from Shanghai's main waterway on March 11, 2013. Over 6,000 dead pigs have been found floating in Shanghai's main waterway, and residents have expressed fears over possible contamination of drinking water. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

Updated at 5:09 p.m. EDT on March 13. Over the last few weeks, the carcasses of 6,600 dead pigs, that reportedly died from porcine circovirus, have been fished out from the 70 mile-long Huangpu River flowing through Shanghai, according to Chinese media.

Initial reports indicated there were merely 3,000; Shanghai authorities gave an official number of nearly 6,000 on Tuesday afternoon; and on Wednesday, the number was updated again to 6,600.

“My workplace faces Huangpu River. For three weeks now at least once or twice a week we have seen more than a dozen pigs drift by,” Mr. Wu from Shanghai told The Epoch Times.

The ear tags used to identify these pigs reveal they are from farms in Jiaxing and Pinghu in Zhejiang Province, upstream of Shanghai, as well as from Jiangsu Province, according to the Agricultural Commission.

“I suspect they were tossed in right after they died at the farm. The same [phenomenon] has been seen in other sections of the Huangpu River. The authorities have already come to collect these carcasses three or four times now,” Mr. Wu said.

According to Jiaxing Daily, a local Zhejiang newspaper, the disposing of dead pigs into the Huangpu River has occurred in at least in five different counties and two districts of Jiaxing in Zhejiang province.

“More pigs died during this past winter and spring; 10,078 died in January, 8,325 in February, and average 300 per day died in March. The land is limited and we can’t bury them all,” Wang Xianjun, a Jiaxing resident was quoted saying by Jiaxing Daily.

Pigs carcasses have been found floating in the Huangpu River since early March, according to witnesses. A recent dumping of nearly 6,000 became a scandal in China. (Weibo.com)

In the meantime, residents are concerned not only about the outbreak of an animal epidemic, but also about contamination of the Huangpu River, since Shanghai obtains most of its drinking water from the Huangpu.

“The news said the water is not affected and still good. But we certainly do not believe it. Many things in the news are untrustworthy. We don’t eat pork now,” said Ms. Wu, a Shanghai resident.

An Epoch Times reporter called the Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission to inquire about the water quality, but was told that relevant information has been released on their official website.

The Zhejiang Department of Agriculture indicated that an investigation is underway but ruled out the possibility of an animal epidemic, they claim that most pigs that died were piglets that froze to death, according to the state-run China News Service.

The Agricultural Commission, however, said that test samples from the Huangpu River water contained a pig virus, called porcine circovirus, according to Chinese media.

“Who would believe they froze to death? They did not die in the harsh winter but in the spring?” said a netizen in response to the Zhejiang Department of Agriculture’s dismissal of an epidemic.

“It must be a joke,” said another netizen. “Would an over 200 pound pig just freeze to death?”

Translation by Jenny Li. Research by Hsin-yi Lin. Written in English by Peter Valk.

Read the original Chinese article.

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