A total of 233 barges have been searching in the waterway, according to a statement by the Shanghai government.
There is growing concern among Shanghainese citizens regarding the quality of their tap water. Shanghai is a city which has become rapidly industrialized, a process which has had a serious impact on the local environment. Locals are increasingly aware and worried about environmental factors which might harm their health.
Chinese and Shanghai health and agricultural authorities do not yet know why so many pigs have died and why they were dumped in the river. They are believed to have come from Jiaxing in the neighbouring Zhejiang province. Jiaxing officials believe that the pigs may have been killed by unusually cold weather.
Jiaxing is home to over 100,000 pig farmers who supply the market with about 4.5 million pigs every year. Officials have emphasized that there is absolutely no evidence of any swine virus causing these deaths.
Shanghai gets most of its water supply from the Huangpu River. The city dumps most of its sewage into the river too. Tap water is heavily chrorinated because of pollution
The Global Times, a Chinese daily newspaper, quoted Jiang Hao, vice director of the Jiaxing Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau, who said "Nothing abnormal has been detected so far."
Wang Dengfeng, a spokesman for the Jia-xing government, said "We are now working closely with the Shanghai government to investigate the cause of the deaths."
The Shanghai municipal government announced today that:
- Drinking water is safe
- There have been no reports of diseased pork in markets
The BBC quoted one Weibo user who described the color of the river's water as being the same as excrement, and this was before the dead pigs arrived.
According to official reports, the rate at which pig carcasses are being salvaged from the river seems to be decreasing.
Shanghai authorities say that tests on a number of pigs have only detected porcine circovirus, a disease which affects pigs all over the world and does not pose any danger to humans.
Urgent investigation launched by Ministry of AgricultureThe Ministry of Agriculture says it has launched an "urgent investigation" into the deaths of nearly 6,000 pigs. Animal epidemic protection departments in Shanghai and Zhejiang will also be involved in the probe.
The Jiaxing Daily reported that there had been a considerable increase in the number of pigs dying during the first two months of 2013. Over 10,000 pigs died in January in the village of Zhulin, Jia-xing, and another 8,000 died in February, the newspaper informed.
The majority of pigs in Jiaxing live in extremely crowded conditions where disease can spread easily. When many pigs die, there is not enough land to bury them.
Jiaxing Daily quoted a Jiaxing government spokesman who said "Farmers are required to hand over dead animals to designated departments or collection stations for disposal. We can't rule out the possibility that some farmers have simply thrown the pigs away."
Written by Christian Nordqvist