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China Finds Dead Ducks in Sichuan in Latest Environment Scare

China Finds Dead Ducks in Sichuan in Latest Environment Scare
Ducklings rummage for food amid rubble behind quake-demolished Juyuan Middle School in Juyuan in southwest China's Sichuan province. Photograph: Frederic J. Brown via Getty Images

More than 1,000 dead ducks were found in a river in the southern Chinese province of Sichuan, sparking an investigation into the nation’s latest environmental scare.

The birds were fished from the Nanhe river in Pengshan county as of yesterday and were disposed of safely, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing Liang Weidong, an official with the local government publicity office. Local authorities are investigating how the ducks died and who was responsible for dumping them into the water, according to the report.

The discovery follows the retrieval of about 11,040 dead pigs from Shanghai’s Huangpu river this month, with thousands more found in neighboring Zhejiang province. The dumping of dead animals in China’s waterways have sparked criticism of the government’s environmental track record and the management of the nation’s livestock industry.

The dead ducks in Sichuan were wrapped in about 50 woven plastic bags, Xinhua reported. The Nanhe river isn’t a source of drinking water, according to the news agency.

A call to the Pengshan government’s general line today wasn’t answered.

Authorities in the financial hub of Shanghai pulled 116 hogs from the Huangpu river yesterday, more than two weeks after the first carcasses were reported. The government reiterated that the city’s drinking water remains safe and that there was no sign the dead pigs have entered the food supply, according to a statement on its website today.

Some of the hogs found in Shanghai have been traced to Jiaxing in Zhejiang province. A farm in Jiaxing has admitted to discarding dead pigs in the river, Xinhua reported on March 14.

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