News / Asia

Dead Pigs in Shanghai River Prompt Health Worries

Cleaning workers retrieve the carcasses of pigs from a branch of Huangpu River in Shanghai, March 10, 2013.
Cleaning workers retrieve the carcasses of pigs from a branch of Huangpu River in Shanghai, March 10, 2013.
VOA News
​Environmental officials in China say that more than 2,200 dead pigs have been fished out of Shanghai's main waterway as of Monday, fueling concerns about the safety of the area's drinking water and criticism over the management of agricultural waste.
A statement on the city's Agricultural Committee web site said that pigs' parts had been sent to be tested to assess the cause of death. Initial results showed that some animals tested positive for porcine circovirus, a common swine disease that does not affect humans.
Huangpu River, Shanghai, ChinaHuangpu River, Shanghai, China
Huangpu River, Shanghai, China
Huangpu River, Shanghai, China
Authorities from the water supply bureau said that tests on water of the Huangpu river, where the hogs were floating, showed no contamination. They say they would continue hourly monitoring of the river's water quality.

Tap Water Safety Questioned
But online, many warned friends and family members in the area not to drink tap water.
“The relevant departments still dare say that this [the dead pigs] has no bad effect on the drinking water?” one Internet user wrote on his microblog account. “Friends from Shanghai, please be very careful what tap water you drink.”
Others blamed the government for turning a blind eye at the problem of agricultural waste in neighboring areas.
Authorities said that ear tags on the dead pigs traced them back to upstream towns in neighboring Zhejiang province, specifically farms in two counties called Jiaxing and Pinghu.

Possible Swine Epidemic
In March, local media reported on an increasing number of dead pigs dumped outside or in the river instead. Some Internet users picked up on these reports.
“Jiaxing is Shanghai next door neighbor, every month for the last three months there has been problems with over ten thousand pigs dead for a swine epidemic,” a user from Shanghai wrote on his microblog account.
“Shanghai has been hiding this fact and pretended like nothing is happening. Up until a huge number of pigs is dropped in the Huangpu river. Only then, ashamed, they just say 'No problem'. Is this the mark of a responsible city government?”
Authorities in Shanghai are still in the process of cleaning up the river, and said that 12 boats are still fishing the pigs out of the water.
Water pollution- often caused by fertilizer runoffs, chemical spills and untreated sewage - is one of China's most critical environmental problem.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Frank from: O. County, USA
March 12, 2013 4:46 AM
Chinese people are suffering from the secretive attitude of PRC government. It is more than abnormal that several thousands of or more hogs are killed by polluted water. China has the notorious air pollution problem, as well. Sooner or later, foreign people should leave China where human beings cannot live any longer.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
March 11, 2013 7:28 PM
A total of 2200 recovered pigs in Shanghai waterway is a lot of pigs. The farms responsible for appearence of dead pigs should be closed immediately, the remaining pigs in these farms incinerated and the perpetraters of this horrific disposal of dead pigs arrested. Why the agriculture department did not know the cause of death of thousands of pigs in farms in two counties before the dead pigs started to appear in the waterway? The porcine circovirus may not be transmissible to humans. What about other microorganisms from the putrification of the pigs in the water? Only in China fishing for dead pigs is allowed!. The health department discovered water quality remains good and there is no health problem even after thousands of putirfied pigs are floating in the main waterway of Shanghai!
In Response

by: JOE from: XIAMEN
March 11, 2013 11:54 PM
I do not know how they feel when these people drink the contaminated water. I feel disgusting and painful. Yes the perpetrator should be arrested and heavily punished. Otherwise there is no hope for this country.

by: Dave from: Seattle
March 11, 2013 9:29 AM
If the "authorities from the water supply bureau" claim no contamination, then let them be the first to drink the water.
In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
March 11, 2013 10:34 AM
@ Dave from: Seattle, yes they do, everyone living in Shanghai drinks the same water, rich or poor, party leaders or normal people. So Communist party really want to control the pollution, they are on the same boat with normal Chinese.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs