Chemical plants probe as piles of dead pigs and dogs found in Henan

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 April, 2013, 7:24pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 April, 2013, 10:12am

Hundreds of pigs have been found dead in a northern province - this time together with scores of dogs.

A total of 410 pigs and 122 dogs were discovered in homes and at farms this week in a village under the jurisdiction of the city of Yanshi in Henan province, authorities said yesterday.

The city's propaganda office said the deaths were being investigated, but that they suspected they had to do with nearby chemical factories. The factories have been ordered to suspend production and help police with a criminal investigation into the incident, according to a Henan provincial news website.

No poisonous gases have been found in tests on the air around the village and its drinking water has met quality standards, said the report, which the propaganda office confirmed.

Local authorities said the deaths have nothing to do with any epidemic or the H7N9 bird flu virus that has recently spread to humans.

Last month, more than 16,000 dead pigs were found in rivers that supply water to Shanghai. The dumping has not been explained, though police had been cracking down on the illegal sale of pork products made from dead or diseased pigs.

The Shanghai government said Jiaxing city in Zhejiang was the source of the carcasses. The scandal has spurred widespread criticism of the authorities' apparent lack of urgency in determining what happened.