Sunday, December 15

Dead pigs in China river exceed 13,000

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SHANGHAI: The number of dead pigs found in a river running through China’s commercial hub Shanghai has reached more than 13,000, state media said yesterday, as mystery deepened over the hogs’ precise origin.

Shanghai had pulled 9,460 pigs out of the Huangpu river, which supplies 22 per cent of the city’s drinking water, since the infestation began earlier this month, the Shanghai Daily reported.

Shanghai has blamed farmers in Jiaxing in neighbouring Zhejiang province for dumping pigs which died of disease into the river upstream, where the official Xinhua news agency said another 3,601 dead animals had been recovered so far.

The Jiaxing government has said the area is not the sole source of the carcasses, adding it had found only one producer that could be held responsible.

Shanghai said it had checked farms in its southwestern district of Songjiang, where the pigs were first detected, but found they were not to blame, the Shanghai Daily said.

The scandal has spotlighted China’s troubles with food safety, adding the country’s most popular meat to a growing list of food items rocked by controversy.

Samples of the dead pigs have tested positive for porcine circovirus, a common swine disease that does not affect humans. — AFP