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Dead pig count in China river up to 6000

16:35 Wed Mar 13 2013
AAP

The number of dead pigs found in Shanghai's main river has doubled in two days to nearly 6000, as officials from a nearby area blamed for the deluge deny being the source.

Shanghai had pulled 5916 dead pigs out of the Huangpu river, which cuts through China's commercial hub and creates its waterfront Bund district, the local government said in a statement late on Tuesday.

The city had earlier put the number of deceased swine - believed to have been dumped by farmers after dying of disease - fished out of the river at 2813 as of Sunday evening.

Shanghai has pointed the finger at Jiaxing in the neighbouring province of Zhejiang, a major centre for hog-raising, Shanghai media have reported.

Jiaxing officials said investigations were continuing, the Shanghai Daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.

"We don't exclude the possibility that the dead pigs found in Shanghai were from Jiaxing. But we are not absolutely sure," Jiaxing spokesman Wang Dengfeng told reporters.

"It is unclear where the dead pigs were raised, thus the dead pigs might be from elsewhere."

Shanghai had handed the Jiaxing government ear tags from some of the dead pigs to verify their origin, media reports said.

The city's agricultural commission said on Monday that some of the animals had tested positive for porcine circovirus, which it described as a common swine disease that does not affect humans.

The Shanghai government said the number of pigs taken out of the river, which provides 22 per cent of the city's water, had started to fall and insisted water quality was within government-set standards. It said a broad range of tests was being carried out.