Over 1,000 dead ducks have been found floating in Nanhe river in China’s Sichuan province, the state run Xinhua news agency acknowledged on Monday. Although not explaining how the ducks had died, the officials announced that the birds had been removed from the water and buried in plastic about 10 feet underground.
Now, maybe I’m just a deeply cynical person, but that sounds like a hazardous waste disposal process to me.
According to the BBC News: China, a Chinese publicity official, Liang Weidong, had the unenviable task of going on China National Radio to report that the ducks were so badly decomposed that the cause of death couldn’t be determined.
The ducks weren’t just swimming along and then struck with some unknown duck disease, either. Someone deliberately put them there, since they were found stuffed in as many as 60 woven bags.
That news somewhat overshadowed Sunday’s statement from officials in Shanghai, who said that they have now removed over 16,000 dead pigs from the Huangpu river — which helps supply drinking water to the largest city in the world.
When the Shanghai municipal workers first started finding pigs in the river, they estimated that there were 900 animals. After a Chinese newspaper alleged a cover-up and calculated that there could be as many as 20,000 dead pigs, the authorities finally admitted that they had found at least 16,000.
Tests showed that the dead pigs had been exposed to porcine circovirus, but since virtually all domestic pigs carry the disease, which doesn’t infect humans, it doesn’t really explain why or how they got in the waterways.
And the Chinese officials either don’t know or aren’t saying.
Authorities in Shanghai and in Sichuan have both repeatedly stated that human water supplies have not been affected. Fortunately for Sichuan province, the dead ducks were found in a river that isn’t currently used as a drinking water source.
However, with the dead duck scandal coming so soon after the dead pigs, the bottled water sellers are probably doing a brisk business in China. What do you think?
[dead duck photo courtesy Jamain and Wikipedia Commons]