6,000 Disease-Ridden Dead Pigs Found Clogging a River in Shanghai

Earlier this week, nearly 6,000 dead pigs were found floating in the Huangpu River, roughly 40 miles north of Shanghai. As terrible and disconcerting as the discovery must have been for Shanghai's 23 million residents, who receive their tap water from the river, the news got worse when authorities realized the pigs were infected with porcine circovirus, which, according to health officials, isn't transferrable to humans but still, not a great thought. In fact, according to ABC News, some residents showed "black humor" by referring to their drinking water as "pork broth." But not to worry! The Chinese government is now saying that, after testing the city's tap water, it's perfectly safe to drink, shower in, cook with, etc.

But where did the dead pigs come from? According to tags on some of their ears, they're from the city of Jiaxing in the Zhejiang provence, which is, obviously, upstream from Shanghai and responsible for delivering over four million pigs to China's east coast each year. Not that Jiaxing is taking any responsibility.

"The tags on the pigs' ears only indicate the pigs were born here," argued Jiang Hao, the vice director of Jiaxing's Animal Husbandry Bureau. "It doesn't mean they were raised here."

Fair enough.

Local farmers say that since Jiaxing started cracking down on black market sales of pigs infected with porcine circovirus, meat dealers have just started throwing the infected pigs into the river.

"Some dead pigs weighing more than 25 kilos were still being sold and making it onto people's dinner tables," the farmer said. "But since the government arrested some tainted meat dealers, nobody comes to buy the stuff anymore. So it's normal that there are so many dead pigs in the river," he said.

Yep. Sounds normal.

[ABC News/Image via AP]