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March 18, 2013

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Dead pig numbers keep falling

THE number of dead pigs in the Huangpu River fell for the third consecutive day yesterday with 495 carcasses taken out of the water, officials said.

That brought the total so far to 9,460. Two-thirds of the latest carcasses were piglets.

Shanghai government spokesman Xu Wei said boats had been sent across the border between Shanghai and Zhejiang Province to prevent more dead pigs floating down the river.

Staff on the boats will closely monitor the area near the border and clear up any dead pigs as soon as they are spotted, Xu said.

The carcasses are all being taken to a biological treatment center in Fengxian District where they will be incinerated, Xu said. As the number of dead pigs continues to drop, the center is now able to treat all the carcasses instead of having to dig pits to bury them, Xu added.

Water quality remains stable but is being strictly monitored. There is no need for residents to worry about tap water, authorities said.

Meanwhile, no problems have been reported with pork on sale at Shanghai's markets.

Online rumors false

In response to online rumors that city farms had also dumped dead pigs in the Huangpu, the Shanghai Agricultural Commission said it had checked the farms and nearby areas last Friday and no dead pigs had been found.

The rumors named the Wulitang and Zhangyao pig farms in Songjiang District of being responsible for some of the carcasses that were found in the Huangpu River.

They also claimed that Shanghai Maling Aquarius Co, a local producer of canned pork meat, was involved in some way.

However, the agricultural commission discovered that the pig farm in Wulitang no longer raised animals. The land was being used to grow crops and vegetables. No dead pigs were found nearby.

The Zhangyao pig farm was also cleared after checks.

In response to the rumors about its involvement, Shanghai Maling said it hadn't imported any pork from Zhejiang Province. Its pork came mainly from Shandong, Henan and Jiangsu provinces.

An inspection of the pork stored at Maling's premises found that it was all up to standard, the commission said.


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