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
October 29, 2014 -- Updated 0518 GMT (1318 HKT)
A top retired general has confessed to taking bribes, becoming the highest-profile figure in China's military to be caught up in President Xi Jinping's war on corruption.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
A group in China escapes from a stuck elevator thanks to one man and his trusty hammer. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout reports.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1352 GMT (2152 HKT)
Facebook's founder says he taught himself Mandarin and tested his skills with students in China.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0133 GMT (0933 HKT)
China launched an experimental spacecraft that is scheduled to orbit the moon before returning to Earth.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1619 GMT (0019 HKT)
Full marks for ingenuity: This was a truly high-tech scam.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 0526 GMT (1326 HKT)
The rationale behind Confucius Institutes -- an international chain of academic centers run by an arm of the Chinese government -- is understandable.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Smooth jazz saxophonist Kenny G wants everyone to know that he's not a foreign agitator trying to defy the Chinese Communist Party.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
A smuggler in Dandong, a Chinese border town near North Korea, tells CNN about the underground trade with North Korean soldiers
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 0511 GMT (1311 HKT)
Yenn Wong got quite a surprise one morning earlier this month when she found out an exact copy of her Hong Kong restaurant had opened in China.
October 15, 2014 -- Updated 0315 GMT (1115 HKT)
When I first came across a "virtual lover" service on e-commerce site Taobao, China's version of Amazon, I thought it was hype.
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Each year Yi Jiefeng does what she can to stop China turning into a desert.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 1454 GMT (2254 HKT)
As its relationship with the West worsen, Russia is pivoting east in an attempt to secure business with China.
October 8, 2014 -- Updated 0229 GMT (1029 HKT)
Aspiring Chinese comics performing in Shanghai's underground comedy scene hope to bring stand-up to the masses.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1654 GMT (0054 HKT)
Liu Wen is one of the world's highest-paid models and the first Chinese face to crack the top five in Forbes' annual list of top earners.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
Cunning wolf? Working class hero? Or bland Beijing loyalist? C.Y. Leung was a relative unknown when he came to power in 2012.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1125 GMT (1925 HKT)
App hopes to help those seeking a way out of China's overstrained public health system.
October 3, 2014 -- Updated 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
Yards from pro-democracy protests, stands the Hong Kong garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), China's armed forces.