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Over 3,000 Dead Pigs Found in Shanghai’s Waters

Update Date: Mar 11, 2013 03:08 PM EDT
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Chinese officials found something extremely out of the ordinary in the waters near Shanghai recently. Over 3,000 dead pigs were swaying with the currents in the river that is linked to the water source for the city. The frightening image of the pigs' carcasses has left many people worried about the environmental safety and possible health complications within the area. Although the cleanup has started, officials do not know the exact health threats the situation poses.

According to health and agricultural authorities, the pigs have been floating in the Huangpu River, as well as nearby water sources for a few days. The Huangpu River supplies water to over 23 million residents in Shanghai. Based from geometric measurements, the pigs were found in the area of the river that directly goes into the city's water source. There has been no word as to whether or not this horrific finding has caused any illnesses. However, the Shanghai officials stated that there is currently no health threat but advises against drinking tap water, which officials are supervising as a precautionary measure. One of the tests that the authorities ran on the water revealed a pig-borne illness call porcine circovirus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this disease fortunately has not been known to affect humans. Authorities do not have a clear understanding or an explanation as to how this situation occurred.

Speculations have been brought forward by many people regarding the situation. Since pork makes up a huge part of China's markets, cuisine and diet, this large amount of pigs could have all originated from a single farm. Pigs from a nearby farm could have died from some kind of disease, forcing the farmers to dispose of the carcasses. Unfortunately, the farmers might have chosen to throw them into the river as a last resort without thinking about the possible damages that could do for the environment and other people.

The video of the photos that have dispersed rapidly throughout the Internet has left many people stunned at the situation. It reminds the world and China that China's solutions to massive animal deaths might need to be revamped. Furthermore, this situation places stress on government officials to change the programs behind water cleanliness, which is a huge problem in China. Just recently, the Huangpu River was contaminated with benzene, which was leaked from a chemical transporter. Over a dozen people received medical care. Along with this, China has been dealing with other environmental issues such as air quality and other animal diseases.

Workers are still removing pig carcasses as residents nearby witness this horrific incident.

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