Close to 15,000 dead pigs have already been pulled out of Shanghai, China’s Huangpu River as of Tuesday morning, and the scandal seems to be growing along with the pile of dead porcines. A Chinese newspaper, Xiao Xiang Morning Herald, fanned the flames with a claim that the government is covering up the true number.
According to an English-language account in the South China Morning Post, a town in a nearby province, Jiaxing, is accused of dumping 4,664 of the animals. However, the Xiao Xiang Morning Herald reportedly said that 10,000 dead pigs were pulled out of the water at that site alone.
Over 10,100 additional pigs have also been found by Shanghai city workers.
Unless the numbers got garbled in translation, that could mean that as many as 20,000 dead pigs are already known to have spent some time in the river waters that serve the giant Chinese city, which is the largest city in the world with a population of over 23 million.
Dan Evon reported earlier for The Inquisitr on the initial statement from Chinese officials, who at that time had admitted to finding 900 dead pigs. At that point, the officals said that the pigs had not contaminated the water — a claim they still make.
However, the authorities are being cagey about revealing what actually happened. According to Bloomberg, the residents of Shanghai have been told that the dead pigs didn’t have a disease and that the drinking water is still safe. But no one has come forward to explain why the dead pigs are in the water in the first place, fueling speculation.
The pollution of Shanghai’s waterways by irresponsible farming and business practices is an ongoing problem. In February, James Johnson reported on an Apple parts supplier who dumped enough pollutants in a nearby river to turn the water “milky white.” That company, Casetek, blamed employees for improperly disposing of spring cleaning fluids.
The South China Morning Post report said that at least some of the dead pigs have now tested positive for a common pig disease called porcine circovirus. However, that doesn’t really tell Shanghai residents if they should worry. Porcine circovirus Type 2 (PCV2) is essentially found in all domestic pigs herds, but relatively few develop the associated disease. It cannot infect humans.
Today’s report of 15,000 dead pigs appears to be just the beginning of an untold story about food and water safety in Shanghai.
[dead pig photo courtesy Hbreton19 and Wikipedia Commons]