It’s been a few days since we checked in on the Hog Wash scandal. Maybe our Shanghai-based readers thought the water they were showering in, and washing their clothes in, and brushing their teeth with, was pig free? Wrong.
The official number of pigs fished out of the Huangpu river, which supplies over a fifth of Shanghai’s drinking water, has now risen to over 13,000.
Speaking to NBC, an unnamed official at the Shanghai Information Office said that “water quality in the Huangpu river has been normal up to now”, leading one to worry just what ‘normal’ means in these circumstances.
The pigs are believed to have come from Jiaxing, in Zhejiang province, and leaflets have been passed out to farmers in the area urging them to properly dispose of dead animals instead of like, chucking them in the water we wash our dishes in.
The Shanghai municipal government has stationed boats along the border with Zhejiang province to fish out any hogs before they make their way further downstream, according to the Shanghai Daily.
A number of farmers in Zhejiang have been jailed on charges of processing and selling pork from over 1,000 diseased or dead pigs. Authorities claim that it was their crackdown on the trade in dead pigs that caused farmers to start dumping them in the river (so… kudos?).
Times are apparently so tough in Zhejiang that farmers are moonlighting as professional pig removers, which seems like a pretty sweet gig once you consider that they were the ones who put them there.