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Thousands of Dead Pigs Found Floating in Shanghai River

A two-day clean-up effort has recovered 3,323 dead pig bodies from the Huangpu River, which cuts through the middle of Shanghai. Local media are reporting that the pigs came from Jiaxing, in Zhejiang province, where over 20,000 pigs have been found dead in villages since the beginning of the year because of swine flu [zh]. While the public is very anxious about the potential pollution caused by the decaying pig carcasses, local authorities quickly asserted that the dead pigs had not polluted the water supply. Shanghai's water comes from Yangtze River and authorities claim the pigs died of cold weather, not a virus. However, most netizens are skeptical of these claims.

Testing Paper (验算纸) invited [zh] the leaders to prove to the public that the water is safe:

黄浦江漂浮千头死猪,浙江农业厅说猪是冻死的并非猪瘟,专家又说水质达标没有任何问题,也就是说,都是放心猪可食用?那不如。。。不如捞上来请领导们吃了吧。

The Zhejiang Agriculture Department said that the dead pigs floating in the Huangpu River died of cold weather rather than swine flu. The experts also said that the water quality has not been affected. Does that mean that the pigs are safe to eat? Why don't we serve the leaders some of the Huangpu river pigs’ meat?

A collection of photos of dead pigs near the Huangpu River. Image from Lawyer Gan Yuanchun. Public Domain.

A collection of photos of dead pigs near the Huangpu River. Image from Lawyer Gan Yuanchun. Public Domain.

Liu Junluo (劉軍洛)wondered [zh] why the local authorities did not release the details concerning the dead pigs in advance:

【问责#死猪#】嘉兴日报报道,从黄浦江打捞出来的死猪源于#嘉兴猪瘟#,“1月份全村死猪10078头,2月份8325头,这几天平均每天的死猪300多头,村里死猪处理站葬猪的大池子挖了一个又一个”。而目前,被打捞出的仅有1200头,那剩余的会不会已经上了老百姓的饭桌?这种骇人听闻的事,为什么不提早公布?

[Responsibility concerning the dead pigs incident] According to Jiaxing Daily, the dead pigs in Huangpu River came from a virus in Jiaxing. In January, 10,078 pigs were found dead in a village. In February 8,325 more were dead. In the past few days, on average 300 pigs were dead everyday. The village has kept digging holes to bury the pigs. So far around 1,200 were found in the river. Had other dead pigs been served at people's dinner tables? Why doesn't the government alert people about this news?

Weibo user Changan Xianling (@长安县令) added more background information about the incident:

很多人疑问,为什么近3000头大肥猪竟然可以逃到上海?一般来说,早就进入人们的肚子里了。原来前一段时间,卖死猪肉的被判刑了!去年11月,嘉兴宣判17人制售死猪肉案!董某等17人开设非法屠宰场屠宰死猪7.7万余头,销售金额累计达865万余元,主犯董某、陈某、姚某等人被判无期徒刑!

Many people have raised questions concerning the dead pig incident in Huangpu River. How did the 3,000 pigs make it to Shanghai? Usually, they would have ended up in people's stomachs. The reason is that not long ago, people who had sold pork from dead pigs were tried and convicted. Last November, a court case in Jiaxing tried 17 people who had sold 77,000 dead pigs for 8.65 million RMB (1.4 million USD). The main perpetrators, Dong, Chen and Yao have received life imprisonment.

Many questioned why there were so few reports concerning the dead pigs incident. @I Am Zuo Anlong (我是左安龙) looked to [zh] the authorities to be accountable for the incident:

这么重大的社会新闻,居然没有见到责任部门,相关部门表示态度。尤其当前正处在全国两会期间,没有见到任何一级人大、人大代表追责。我们的社会怎么了?难道除了争权夺利什么都不要了?

Such big news and there isn't any government authority to take responsibility and comment on the incident. Now we have the Two Congress, but no representatives to be accountable. What has happened to our society? Is there anything left apart from power struggle?

Li Mingseng (李鸣生) mocked the nature of news in China:

2000多头死猪神秘潜入黄浦江,不是新闻;2000多万上海人喝了半个月的死猪肉汤,也不是新闻;上海水务局称黄浦江水质均符合国家生活饮用水卫生标准,才是新闻!

More than 2,000 dead pigs entering Huangpu River is not news. More than 20 million Shanghai people drinking dead pig soup for half a month is not news. That the Shanghai Water Supply Bureau claimed that Huangpu River's water quality is up to the national drinking water standard is news.

Brother Excellence (卓越兄) wondered [zh] why there hadn't been any discussion in social media until the dead pigs appeared in the Huangpu River:

【悲哀:猪击败中国媒体】我们有微博传播、微信传播、客户端传播、短信传播、网站传播、电视传播、报纸传播,可嘉兴发生猪瘟,死了上万头猪。这么大的事情,却要靠死猪自己来传播——直到死猪顺黄浦江漂到上海,公众才知道。在新媒体时代,要靠猪传播信息,这是谁的悲哀?

[Sad news: Pigs have beaten the Chinese media] We have information distribution tools like micro-blogs, mobile chat, web portals, SMS, websites, television, and newspapers. Yet the swine flu that killed thousands of pigs in Jiaxing has to rely on the dead pigs for spreading the news — not until the dead pigs floated into Shanghai did the public learn the news. In the new media era, we still depend on pigs to obtain information, isn't that sad?

Environmentalist Dong Liangjie wanted [zh] to know the truth:

事件在升级中,特别呼吁彻查公布真相。呼吁水厂检生物毒素。不要因为开二会就遮掩,更不要有侥幸心理;出了问题没人能负起历史责任。

The incident has caught the public attention. I urge the authorities to reveal the truth and the water supply factory should look into the bio-toxicity data. Don't cover up the truth because of the Lianghui. Don't risk your credibility. If anything goes wrong, the consequences would be too heavy to bear.

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