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
    x
    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

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora