Nearly 6,000 dead pigs found in Shanghai river


More than 5,900 dead pigs are now floating down the Huangpu river - towards Shanghai's prized Bund... And it's not a pretty picture.

Since Friday, officials have been busy collecting the corpses of floating pigs on the Huangpu river, about 30 kilometers from Shanghai's city center.

Authorities say the corpses will be disposed of safely...

But many remain in the river.

On Tuesday morning, 20 dead pigs were collected within 10 minutes, most of which had already started to decompose.

Labels pinned on the pigs' ears suggest they came from the upper reaches of the Huangpu River in Jiaxing City, in east China's Zhejiang Province.

The tags, however, only indicate the animals' birthplace.

Shanghai's government says local media in Jiaxing have reported the dumping of dead pigs, since March the 4th.

But that the pigs may come from other places, and that it's not known who's been dumping them.

The scandal has brought fresh focus to China's lack of farming regulations - including waste disposal - along with a lack of farmer insurance...

Officials of Jiaxing admit some local pig farmers believe dead pigs - symbolising dead fortune - bring bad luck... And that they'll dump the carcasses, wherever they think is convenient.

It's also raised food and water safety concerns in China, even further...

Lab tests found a virus in a water sample taken from the Huangpu River - a water source for Shanghai's 24 million residents.

But the agricultural commission says it can only spread among pigs, not to humans.

Tests for other diseases that could be transmitted by pigs - such as foot and mouth disease, swine flu hog chlorea - were negative.

Shanghai's water supply bureau says the city's drinking water remains safe.

And that an automatic water quality monitoring network should be built, to keep tabs on any changes.