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Dead pigs in main Shanghai river no threat to drinking water, officials say

Shanghai authorities are insisting that tap water there is still safe to drink despite anywhere up to 3,000 dead pigs being fished from the city's main waterway.
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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)

Shanghai authorities are insisting that tap water there is still safe to drink despite anywhere up to 3,000 dead pigs being fished from the city's main waterway.

The Shanghai water bureau said that workers had fished the swine from the Huangpu river, which flows past the Bund waterfront district.

The river provides drinking water for Shanghai's 23 million plus residents.

NBC cited an official statement by Shanghai Agriculture Committee, posted on Weibo, as saying that some of the pigs were infected by porcine circovirus (PCV) virus. 

PCV was found in a sample taken from the Songjiang section of the Huangpu river, but the disease would not infect humans, the statement added.

The assessment accords with information provided on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

NBC also cited a Shanghai Water management officer named "Zhu" as saying that the results of hourly water tests were normal.

"We are adding more chlorine as an action to protect water safety."

Meanwhile, Voice of America citedthe Agriculture Committee as saying there was no substance to a claim that the pigs were dumped upriver in Zheiiang province.

According to Bloomberg, the Chinese government had recently come under fire over health and environmental issues, including a cadmium spill in a tributary of the Pearl River in January 2012 that triggered panic buying of bottled water, and a 2010 waste leak into a river in southern Fujian province that killed nearly 2,000 tons of fish. 

Beijing has announced a plan for a regulator "with broader authority to ensure food and drug safety."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/dead-pigs-shanghai-Huangpu-river-porcine-circovirus