Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Hundreds of dead pigs fished from Shanghai river

By Katie Hunt and Zhang Dayu
updated 11:43 PM EDT, Mon March 11, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Pig carcasses test positive for porcine circovirus
  • More than 2,800 dead pigs found floating in Shanghai river
  • Authorities say local tap water still safe to drink but residents worried
  • Reports suggests that more than 10,000 pigs died in a neighboring province earlier this year

Hong Kong (CNN) -- At least 2,800 dead pigs have been fished from a Shanghai river since Friday, but authorities insist that tap water in the city is still safe to drink.

State news agency Xinhua said labels tagged to the pigs' ears indicated they came from the upper waters of the Huangpu River, which flows through the center of Shanghai and is a source of the city's drinking water.

It's not clear why the pigs had been dumped in the river, though local media reported earlier this month that a disease had killed thousands of pigs in a village south of Shanghai.

"We will continue to trace the source, investigate the cause, co-operate with neighboring areas and take measures to stop the dumping of pigs into rivers," the Shanghai Municipal Agricultural Commission said in a statement posted on their website on Monday.

READ: China pledges to tackle pollution crisis

As of Sunday, water quality on the Songjiang section of the river, where most of the pigs were found, remained normal and the incident has had "no significant effect on tap water supply," the commission added.

This horrific incident was only made public when residents started posting pictures on Weibo
Xue Manzi

However, local residents and users of of the popular Twitter-like microblog service Sina Weibo have expressed concern that the dead pigs would make the city's tap water unsafe to drink.

"Huangpu river is the source of drinking water for more than 20 million Shanghai residents. And this horrific incident was only made public when residents started posting pictures on Weibo," business investor Xue Manzi said in a post on his account.

The agricultural commission said it had tested organ samples from the pig carcasses and the results suggested the animals had contracted a type of porcine circovirus.

According to Professor Fred Leung, who specialises in animal diseases at Hong Kong University, this is a fairly common disease in pigs and not usually fatal on its own.

Pictures showed sanitation workers with sticks retrieving the bloated bodies of small pigs caught up in reeds and debris at the side of the river.

A local newspaper in Jiaxing, a city in Zhejiang province south of Shanghai, reported on March 6 that tens of thousands of pigs had died of an animal disease in a major pig farming village in the past two months.

"According to our records, 10,078 pigs died in January, another 8,325 died in February. More than 300 pigs die everyday in our village, and we barely have any space left to dispose of the dead pigs," a local villager was quoted by the paper as saying.

Chen Yi, a veterinarian at the Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences, told the Global Times newspapers that farmers are required by law to dispose of dead animals at community disposal sites or bury them with disinfectant.

CNN's Zhang Dayu reported from Beijing

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:18 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A top retired general has confessed to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in President Xi Jinping's war on corruption.
updated 1:07 AM EDT, Mon October 27, 2014
A group in China escapes from a stuck elevator thanks to one man and his trusty hammer. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.
updated 9:52 AM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Facebook's founder says he taught himself Mandarin and tested his skills with students in China.
updated 9:33 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
China launched an experimental spacecraft that is scheduled to orbit the moon before returning to Earth.
updated 12:19 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Full marks for ingenuity: This was a truly high-tech scam.
updated 1:26 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
The rationale behind Confucius Institutes -- an international chain of academic centers run by an arm of the Chinese government -- is understandable.
updated 11:11 AM EDT, Fri October 24, 2014
Smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G wants everyone to know that he's not a foreign agitator trying to defy the Chinese Communist Party.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
updated 1:11 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
updated 11:15 PM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
updated 9:15 AM EDT, Tue October 14, 2014
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
updated 10:54 AM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
updated 10:29 PM EDT, Tue October 7, 2014
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
updated 12:54 PM EDT, Tue September 30, 2014
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Fri October 3, 2014
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
 A man uses his smartphone on July 16, 2014 in Tokyo, Japan. Only 53.5% of Japanese owned smartphones in March, according to a white paper released by the Ministry of Communications on July 15, 2014. The survey of a thousand participants each from Japan, the U.S., Britain, France, South Korea and Singapore, demonstrated that Japan had the fewest rate of the six; Singapore had the highest at 93.1%, followed by South Korea at 88.7%, UK at 80%, and France at 71.6%, and U.S. at 69.6% in the U.S. On the other hand, Japan had the highest percentage of regular mobile phone owners with 28.7%. (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
updated 8:20 PM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.
ADVERTISEMENT