Hosea Chapter 4
(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.
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.