By Patrick Lozada
Shanghai authorities have reported that some 900 pigs have been pulled from an area of the Huangpu River used for drinking water as of Saturday afternoon. Pig bodies were first spotted floating in the river last Tuesday, and clean-up efforts began on Saturday according to the Shanghai Agriculture Committee.
This “pulled pork” is currently being tested for bio-safety risks, but local authorities have stressed that water quality has not been affected. The source of the pigs is unknown, but it is suspected that they floated to Shanghai from somewhere in Zhejiang province. Local authorities are apparently still retrieving dead pigs from the river as of Sunday.
Besides the fact that a thousand swine are floating around a major aquifer and transport hub, there’s a number of things that are majorly insane about this story. First, Shanghai officials seemed to have made a real pig’s ear of things by waiting four days between the discovery of rafts of dead pigs floating down the river and official action. Considering this, who knows how many pigs are actually in the water supply? Second, it is nothing less than putting lipstick on a pig to suggest that a thousand discarded dead swine won’t affect water quality.
Extreme biohazards concerns aside (come on, it’s China), I plan to “think pig,” pig out, and not put pearls before swine by savoring today’s bacon water for as long as I can.
Update 12.00: The official number of pigs involved in the Hog Wash has now risen to over 1,200.
Update 16.30: Official corpse toll now at over 2,000. Porcine circovirus is believed to be the cause of the death.