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Entries in Pigs (2)

Wednesday
Mar132013

Officials: 6,000 Dead Pigs in River Not Affecting Shanghai's Water

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images(BEIJING) -- Shanghai authorities are trying to assure people of China's largest city that their drinking water is safe despite finding nearly 6,000 dead pigs in the river that provides water to the city's taps.

Shanghai residents were further unnerved when health officials determined that the pigs were infected with a disease known as porcine circovirus, but health officials insisted that it does not affect humans.

The pig bodies were found in the Huangpu River, about 40 miles north of Shanghai's 23 million residents, raising fears that they are drinking a "pork broth," as some referred to it.

The government has been playing down the incident and reassured citizens that Shanghai tap water samples passed government tests and is safe to drink.

Shanghai authorities used tags on the pigs' ears to trace them to the city of Jiaxing in Zhejiang province, upstream from Shanghai.  Jiaxing is the main supplier of pork to China's east coast, with 4.5 million pigs delivered every year.

Jiaxing city government officials denied responsibility for the dead pigs.

"The tags on the pigs' ears only indicate the pigs were born here," argued Jiang Hao, the vice director of Jiaxing's Animal Husbandry Bureau.  "It doesn't mean they were raised here.  No signs have been found of any epidemic among animals in Jiaxing, and local hogs' mortality rate remains normal."

The government is blaming some farmers in Jiaxing for a lack of environmental awareness, and for carelessly disposing of their dead pigs.  The government says it will make every effort to investigate the case and punish anyone who dumped pig carcasses in the river.

Last year, the Jiaxing government started a major crackdown on black market sales of pork from pigs that had died of disease.  One farmer told Shanghai's Xinmin News Net that some farmers now just toss the tainted meat into the river since they have nowhere to sell it.

"Some dead pigs weighing more than 25 kilos were still being sold and making it onto people's dinner tables," the farmer said.  "But since the government arrested some tainted meat dealers, nobody comes to buy the stuff anymore.  So it's normal that there are so many dead pigs in the river."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr092012

Russia Accuses Neighbor of Pig Sabotage

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A top Russian health official has accused neighboring Georgia of launching a devastating biological war... against Russian pigs.

Gennady Onishchenko, the Kremlin’s chief “sanitary doctor,” said that Georgia was the source of what appeared to be an “artificially created” outbreak of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that has spread through southern Russia and caused the deaths of nearly half a million pigs — either by direct infection or by farmers “culling” the pigs in an attempt to keep the disease from spreading, according to Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti.

“ASFV came to us from Georgia,” Onishchenko said. “[The outbreak] shows signs of being an artificially created situation. This is an act of economic subversion that the [south Russian] Krasnodar Territory has been unable to tackle for three years.”

The American Centers for Disease Control describes ASFV as “highly contagious” and “one of the most feared diseases in pigs.” The deadly strain was introduced to the Caucasus in 2007 and has had a “devastating” effect there since, the CDC said in a 2011 report.

For a herd in which ASFV has been discovered, morbidity rates reach nearly 100 percent and there is no treatment or vaccine, according to the Center for Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. Humans, however, are not susceptible.

In August 2008, Georgia drew the ire and might of Russian military when it invaded South Ossetia, a breakaway region of Georgia supported by Russia. The resulting conflict lasted only days and ended after Russian troops invaded Georgia.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio