Part of complete coverage on
Hundreds of dead pigs fished from Shanghai river
March 12, 2013 -- Updated 0343 GMT (1143 HKT)
- 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
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
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0857 GMT (1657 HKT)
Over 200 Chinese villagers in Sichuan province have signed a petition to banish a HIV-positive eight-year-old boy, state media reported.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
A Chinese couple allegedly threw hot water on a flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane, forcing the Nanjing-bound plane to turn back to Bangkok.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 0503 GMT (1303 HKT)
China's 1.3 billion citizens may soon find it much harder to belt out their national anthem at will.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Like Beijing today, Los Angeles in the last century went through its own smog crisis. The city's mayor says LA's experience delivers valuable lessons.
December 6, 2014 -- Updated 0542 GMT (1342 HKT)
At the height of his power, Zhou Yongkang controlled China's police, spy agencies and courts. Now, he's under arrest.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 0826 GMT (1626 HKT)
China says it will end organ transplants from executed prisoners but tradition means that donors are unlikely to make up the shortfall.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 0648 GMT (1448 HKT)
China's skylines could look a lot more uniform in the years to come, if a statement by a top Beijing official is to believed.
December 3, 2014 -- Updated 0855 GMT (1655 HKT)
Despite an anti-corruption drive, China's position on an international corruption index has deteriorated in the past 12 months.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
A daring cross-border raid by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's associates has -- so far -- yet to sour Sino-Russian relations.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
A 24-hour Taipei bookstore is a hangout for hipsters as well as bookworms.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 0153 GMT (0953 HKT)
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
North Korean refugees face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.