Greater Than 13,000 Dead Pigs Found in Rivers in China

I wish I was joking about this bizarre story.

Thousands of dead pigs have been recovered from rivers in China — yet officials reportedly claim that the quality of the water is normal.

The Huangpu River — which alone had a total greater than 9,500 dead pigs — provides drinking water to Shanghai, the largest city in China in terms of population with greater than 23 million people.

To put that amount of people in perspective, that is approximately three times the population of New York City.

Jiaxing is located southwest of Shanghai. Satellite imagery courtesy of TerraMetrics and Google Maps.

At least one of the sources of the dead pigs has apparently been traced to farms in Jiaxing in the Zhejiang province — located up the river which feeds into the East China Sea and eventually into the Pacific Ocean. Dead animal compost sites are reportedly full due to the increase in the amount of dead pigs supposedly caused by cold weather.

Authorities are attempting to mitigate the illegal trade of pork products reportedly harvested from diseased pigs, as well as testing the water for several common swine viruses and disinfecting public water supplies.

The dead pigs in the river apparently seems to have raised the consciousness of the pollution prevalent in general in waterways in China, caused by rapid urbanization and industrialization as a result of economic prosperity. Some rivers are choked with garbage and laced with chemicals thought to cause cancer and contribute to the mortality rate of residents living near these flowing toxic cocktails.

FlyerTalk member b-kpf sadly wrote the following in a trip report posted on FlyerTalk last December: “Cold during Winter, and not as enjoyable as it was many years ago before the many developments now going on in the city. A prime example was the West Lake- I visited with someone that has never been there before, and it was nothing like it was the first time I visited; there was a lot more pollution that interrupted the natural beauty of the place. I don’t think I’ll be returning anytime soon.”

In the meantime, FlyerTalk members advise avoiding smoked and canned pork products, which would be highly suspected as originating from tainted sources.

You might want to try to avoid the drinking water there as well, if possible — although I am not sure that bottled water could be trusted as an alternative to tap water…

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