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March 17, 2013

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Weather blamed as dead pig numbers near 9,000

AUTHORITIES in Shanghai plucked 611 dead pig carcasses yesterday from the Huangpu River, bringing a total of 8,965 dead pigs found in the river since March 8.

Yesterday's haul was down 24.5 percent from a day earlier, said the city government's spokesman Xu Wei.

Two-thirds of those collected yesterday were piglets.

The dead pigs are largely believed to be from the upstream city of Jiaxing in neighboring Zhejiang Province.

The chief vet for China's Agriculture Ministry, Yu Kangzhen, who has traveled to the region to investigate the deaths, said yesterday that there has been no major swine epidemic, but said some samples tested positive for common porcine circovirus and a diarrhea virus.

He said no dead pigs in Jiaxing were found to have entered the market.

The vet said cold weather and fluctuating temperatures have caused a spike in deaths among piglets. When pigs die of disease, local hog farmers often dump the carcasses into rivers or on rural roads.

In Shanghai, authorities have repeatedly assured residents that tap water is safe.


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