more mysterious animals die offSo far over 6600 dead pigs found floating in Shanghai river, Bird flu outbreak reported in India,

Hosea Chapter 4

Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Cleaning workers retrieve the carcasses of pigs from a branch of Huangpu River in Shanghai, March 10, 2013. Over 2,200 pigs have been found dead in one of Shanghai's main water sources, official media reported on March 11, 2013, triggering a public outcry in China where concerns over food safety and environmental pollution run high. Picture taken March 10, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

(Reuters) – Over 6600 pigs have been found dead in one of Shanghai’s main water sources, official media reported on Monday, triggering a public outcry in China where concerns over food safety and environmental pollution run high.

The carcasses were probably dumped in the Huangpu river in Zhejiang province and the total number was expected to increase, the Global Times quoted Xu Rong, director of Shanghai Songjiang District Environmental Protection Bureau, as saying.

“We have to act quickly to remove them all for fear of causing water pollution,” she was quoted as saying as the national parliament, where pollution has been a hot topic, met in Beijing.
Officials were investigating, media said.

An official at the Songjiang environment bureau declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

The Shanghai government said in a statement posted on its website on Monday that workers were continuing to collect carcasses from the river and it was closely monitoring the water quality although no pollution has been found so far.

Water contamination, caused by fertilizer run-off, chemical spills and untreated sewage, is a major concern in China. The government is planning to invest $850 billion over the next decade to improve the water supply system.

The discovery of the dead pigs over the weekend quickly made the rounds in social media, with many bloggers criticizing the authorities for their delayed response.

“Related government departments should seriously investigate this and get to the bottom of it,” said one blogger by the name of Ting Tao. “The government should really pay attention to people’s lives and take no time to solve food safety issues.”

(Reporting by Kazunori Takada and Samuel Shen; Editing by John Ruwitch)

Workers in the southwestern district of Songjiang fished more than 5000 dead swine out of the Huangpu river, which goes on to cut through the commercial hub and create its waterfront Bund district. The haul included piglets and huge adult pigs, the Shanghai government website said.

Photos carried by state media showed workers in blue uniforms with long-handled rakes moving the pinkish corpses in the water and on shore.

Reports said the pigs probably came from the adjoining upstream province of Zhejiang, where farmers were believed to have dumped them in the river after they died of disease, and the first bodies were discovered on Thursday.

“Is the water still drinkable after dead pigs were found floating in it?” Shanghai resident Liu Wanqing was quoted as saying by the China Daily newspaper.

“The government has a responsibility to conduct a thorough investigation and provide safe water to residents.”

Shanghai said it was testing water samples from the river on an hourly basis and so far all indicators were “normal”.

A total of 12 boats were on patrol to fish the dead animals out of the water, the Global Times newspaper said.

Bird flu outbreak reported in India 2000 chickens culled,

March 11, 2013 – INDIA – More than 2,000 chickens were culled and a large quantity of eggs destroyed in Bihar’s Purnea district in the last 24 hours following an outbreak of avian flu, officials said Monday. Purnea District Magistrate Manish Verma said bird flu was detected last week. “More birds would be culled as a precautionary step. The administration had issued bird flu alert as a preventive measure. We are fully prepared to deal with an outbreak,” the district magistrate said. An official of the animal husbandry department said the state government had also alerted neighboring districts of Kishanganj, Katihar and Araria, and asked concerned officials to take emergency measures in view of the bird flu outbreak in Purnea. Verma told IANS over telephone that kits, medicines and other material have been distributed to all medical centers for treatment of any patient suspected to be affected by bird flu. “Till date, no case has been reported in the district,” Verma said. The district magistrate said 15 teams of officials have been formed to check the spread of bird flu and ensure that birds and eggs from the district were not sent outside Purnea. Purnea is about 350 km from the state capital. “All entries along the border of the district have been sealed and additional officials have been deployed to prevent traders from sending birds outside,” an official said. Purnea is a major supplier of chicken across Bihar; fowl and eggs from the district also find their way to markets in neighboring West Bengal. –One India

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