When we first reported on China's "hogwash" yesterday, the number of floating pigs in Shanghai's water supplying Huangpu River was a "modest" 1200. It has since tripled to 3300. From SCMP: "The agriculture and environmental protection departments in Shanghai's Songjiang district have pulled more than 3,300 dead pigs out of the Huangpu River, which flows through the municipality, in the past week." What is worse is that at least one pig-related virus has been found in a water sample: "Porcine circovirus, a common hog disease that is not known to be infectious to humans, was found in a sample taken from the water, Shanghai's animal disease control department was quoted as saying by eastday.com a major Shanghai news portal." The good news is that tests by the Shanghai Animal Disease Prevention and Control Centre on five sets of internal organs taken from the dead pigs has ruled out five other diseases including foot-and-mouth, hog cholera and blue-ear. Of course, this is China, whose disclosure record is second only to Japan, where as a reminder the government said the radiation level was under control days after the Fukushima explosion, even as the reality was far grimmer.
More from SCMP:
The website quoted local water and environmental authorities as saying tests of water samples collected from six sites on the river showed that the poor water quality on the Songjiang district section of the Huangpu, a source of drinking water for Shanghai, was similar to the same period last year.
However, it said tap water from water suppliers in Songjiang and several neighbouring districts was in line with national standards.
According to the dead pigs' ear labels, most of them floated down the river from Jiaxing, Zhejiang. Some were also from Pinghu in Zhejiang or from neighbouring Jiangsu province, xinmin.cn quoted a staff member at the Songjiang District Agricultural Commission as saying.
China News Service quoted an official from Zhejiang's provincial agricultural department as saying that most of the dead pigs were young and they had died at least a month ago. He said that instead of dying from illness, most had died due to cold weather, even though average temperatures in Jiaxing in winter are above zero degrees Celsius.
The district government has asked for help from the municipal government for centralised treatmeant of the carcasses because there were too many for it to handle, the website said.
The Jiaxing Daily, the Communist Party's newspaper in Jiaxing, said the casual disposal of dead pigs was common in the Zhejiang city.
A report in the newspaper on Monday of last week said it had received many complaints from readers about dead pigs.
Expect to read some more about this dead pig onslaught, before the local media quietly but forecfully is told to end all coverage of this latest food-related scandal.