People in Shanghai never stop complaining about Beijing, and with sandstorms sweeping into the capital, the people in this country’s Second City have been growing quite smug about their marginally healthier air.
Well, now… Shanghai isn’t exactly environmentally pristine. This weekend, more than 900 dead pigs were found added to the aquatic ecosystem in the Songjiang section of Huangpu River. It could, of course, be seen as an improvement on the lifeless fish floating on the surface — or this, or this — except for the stench: people living close to that section of the waterway have complained, becuase dead pigs apparently smell.
According to a government spokesperson, the pigs do not pose a health hazard, and the risk of E. coli is not much higher than normal. The local government is currently investigating where the dead animals came from.
UPDATE: Up to 2,800 pigs. Also, this video:
Global Times, a little earlier today — when the carcass count was a mere 2,200 pigs — offered these details:
“The number is expected to rise as there are still six barges that have not returned from collecting carcasses. We have to act quickly to remove them all for fear of causing water pollution,” Xu Rong, director of Shanghai Songjiang District Environmental Protection Bureau, told the Global Times.
Xu said the dead pigs were probably dumped in the river in neighboring Zhejiang Province, although the source is not yet known.
On Saturday, the bureau sent a barge from Mishidu Dock in the Songjiang district to the Shuikou River in Pinghu, Zhejiang Province, where it discovered the bodies of many pigs along the Pingshen Waterway, which runs from the city of Pinghu to Shanghai.
According to the ear tags of the dead pigs, they were from farms in Jiaxing and Pinghu in Zhejiang Province, xinmin.com, a Shanghai-based news portal, reported, citing the Shanghai Songjiang District Agricultural Commission.
“Samples of the dead pigs have been sent to the agricultural commission to determine the cause of their deaths. We’ll know the results in three days,” Xu said.
Twelve barges are currently used in search efforts.
UPDATE, 3/12, 10:54 am: Now over 3,000.