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Over 6,000 pigs pulled from Shanghai river, prompting water contamination fears

The number of dead pigs pulled from the Huangpu river has surpassed 6,600.

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Dead pigs are collected by sanitation workers from Shanghai's main waterway on March 11, 2013. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

The number of dead pigs pulled from Shanghai's central river has surpassed 6,000, causing concerns about the water's contamination to escalate.

Around 685 more pigs were pulled from the Huangpu river Wednesday, which supplies 22 percent of the Chinese city's drinking water, Agence France-Presse reported

The carcasses were reportedly dumped by farmers from the Jiaxing area in neighboring Zhejiang province after the animals died of disease, the Hong Kong Standard reported. Police have reportedly been cracking down on the illegal trade of diseased pork products. 

On Wednesday, a court in Zhejiang Province issued sentences for 46 people involved in selling the contaminated products, Xinhua reported

Officials have been working to properly dispose of the carcasses and disinfect the water as well as test for six major swine-related viruses, the Standard reported. 

“The water quality of the upper reaches of the Huangpu river is generally stable, basically similar to the same period last year,” the Shanghai government statement said, according to Agence France-Presse. 

However, Xinhua reported that one of the water samples taken was found to contain a porcine circovirus.

"This is not only an environmental issue but also a public moral problem,'' said Beijing-based writer Li Mingsheng. "What's been polluted is not only Shanghai's river water but also the spirit of our country people."

More from GlobalPost: Dead pigs in main Shanghai river no threat to drinking water, officials say

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130313/over-6000-pigs-pulled-shanghai-river-water-contamination-fears