In March of 2013, there was a disturbing incident where a large number of dead pigs were retrieved from the Huangpu River.
Chinese officials say they have fished out 900 dead pigs from a Shanghai river that is a water source for city residents. Officials are investigating where the pigs came from. A statement posted Saturday on the city’s Agriculture Committee’s website says they haven’t found any evidence that the pigs were dumped into the river or of any animal epidemic.
The statement says the city and Songjiang district governments started retrieving the pigs on Friday night. By late Saturday afternoon they had recovered and disposed of more than 900. The statement says the water and environmental protection bureaus are ramping up monitoring of the river’s water quality.
via BEIJING: 900 dead pigs found floating in Shanghai river – Weird News – MiamiHerald.com.
Update: The Shanghai floating pig death toll has greatly increased:
Over 2,200 pig carcasses were found in the Huangpu river over the weekend, triggering a public outcry in China where concerns over environmental pollution already run high. Locals say dead pigs in the river are a daily sight, but never in such huge numbers. This woman says her village established a treatment pond where farmers can dump dead pigs for processing, but she blames nearby villagers for not doing the same.
Update: It was a staggering number at last count, nearly 6,000 unfortunate animals.
The Shanghai municipal government said in an online announcement that 5,916 swine carcasses had been retrieved from Huangpu River by 3 p.m. Tuesday, but added that municipal water remains safe. … Beijing-based writer Li Mingsheng expressed shock when he learned of the latest number of dead pigs in Shanghai.
“This is not only an environmental issue but also a public moral problem,” Li wrote. “What’s been polluted is not only Shanghai’s river water but also the spirit of our country people.”
Update: This just in, the story keeps getting worse. The Guardian March 29th reports the number to be over 16,000.
This area of Zhejiang province, 60 miles from Shanghai, has become the subject of public and media scrutiny after more than 16,000 dead pigs were found in tributaries of the city’s river, the Huangpu, a source of tapwater. As clean-up efforts wind down, mystery surrounds the cause of the pigs’ demise and their appearance in the river.
… The first pigs were spotted on 7 March and were soon traced to Jiaxing through tags in their ears. Early tests show they carry porcine circovirus, a common disease among hogs not known to be infectious to humans. Shanghai’s municipal water department maintains that the water meets the national standard, but hasn’t said much more.
… The pig industry blossomed in Jiaxing in the 1980s. Last year China produced and consumed half the world’s pork, about 50m tonnes. … According to a 2011 report by Zhejiang province’s environmental protection bureau, 7.7m pigs are raised in Jiaxing. With a mortality rate of 2-4%, up to 300,000 carcasses need to be disposed of each year.
“We have some difficulties with the growing number of pig farms and a lack of funding and land to build more plants,” Chen says. He [Chen Yuanhua, party secretary for Zhulin] concedes that some farmers throw dead pigs into the rivers “for convenience”.