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Dead ducks replace dead pigs floating in Chinese river

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 26th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A thousand dead ducks have been found floating in a Chinese river, shortly after the bodies of more than 16,000 pigs was pulled out of Shanghai's main waterway. This most unappetizing discovery has increased concern over the safety of the China's drinking water.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The bird carcasses were fished out of the Nanhe River in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan. Authorities say they were found in over 50 woven bags. The bodies were so badly decomposed it was not possible to tell how they died.

In regards to the earlier incident, Shanghai environmental workers say that almost all of the dead pigs had been removed from the Huangpu River, which supplies 22 percent of the city's drinking water.

Officials now say that 98 pigs were recovered on Sunday and 93 on Saturday, the first time the daily toll had fallen below a hundred in days.

The dead pigs proved to be a major embarrassment to the city, which is seeking to grow as an international financial center. Samples have tested positive for porcine circovirus, a common swine disease that does not affect humans.

It's not yet known what killed the ducks. Liang Weidong, a deputy director in Pengshan's publicity departments says that their bodies were disinfected and buried in plastic bags three meters underground.

Authorities were first made aware of the ducks a week ago but insisted the dead birds had been handled safely and posed no danger to residents or livestock, Weidong says.

An initial investigation suggested they originated from upstream and were not dumped by local farmers. The Nanhe River is not a source of drinking water.

Mystery surrounds over what is presumably an act of protest by some disgruntled party. "Dead pigs, dead ducks... this soup is getting thicker and thicker," wrote one person with the username Baby Luck on weibo, China's version of Twitter.

"The dead pigs haven't even disappeared yet, and now the dead ducks emerge - does this society enjoy being competitive?" wrote one.

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