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Dead pig mystery in Shanghai river creates fears over farming practices

The discovery of thousands of dead pigs in Shanghai river have highlighted concerns over farming practices and food safety

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The discovery of thousands of dead pigs has raised concerns about animal welfare and husbandry (Image by:Hans)

Almost 6,000 dead pigs have been pulled out of Shanghai's Huangpu River, according to Chinese officials. 

Images of the bruised and bloated carcasses have been plastered across various social media websites since they first appeared last weekend, raising concerns about environmental pollution and agricultural practices.
 
The biggest immediate concern is related to the 23 million Shanghai residents relying on the river’s water supply. On-going tests show that the pigs were infected with porcine circovirus, although the reason for the dumping is still under debate. 

Officials have insisted that the virus does not infect humans.
 
Overcrowded pens and unsanitary grounds are said to be the most likely cause of the infection. With confirmation that the pigs came from Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, Jiaxing Daily’s coverage has reported that more than 18,000 pigs died in a single village at the start of this year. 
 
The story has drawn attention to the issues of animal handling and husbandry practices, while acting as a stark reminder of the widespread environmental security issues that are affecting China. 
 
The drifting dead pigs are also bringing these environmental problems directly to a ever more vocal urban elite. One local Shanghai resident Kai-Fu Lee posted on Sina Weibo how ‘we can open the window and have free cigarettes’ and now ‘turn on our faucets and have pork chop soup!

Similarly, in response to official assurance that the pigs’ virus will not affect humans, lawyer Gan Yuanchun was quoted by the BBC as asking on his microblog, which “Mayor and water authority leaders…will be the first ones to drink this meat soup?” 

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匿名 | Anonymous

很棒的文章和讨论

这是非常有趣的信息,而且也重要。如果你想阅读更多关于中国密集畜牧业的生产经验,以及人们对食肉的态度与做法,请看纽约亮绿智库发表的政策研究,该链接包括中英文版本(以及一些短视频):http://brightergreen.org/brightergreen.php?id=53

Great article and discussion

Very interesting and important information here. If you'd like to read more about China's experiences with intensive livestock production and attitudes and practices towards meat-eating, please see policy research published by New York action tank Brighter Green. It's available in both English and Chinese here (short videos are also included in the link): http://brightergreen.org/brightergreen.php?id=53