Poultry farming and its pollution: A case study of China

Hi guys, I’m back!

Today’s post will be really short, focusing on environmental pollution that arise from poultry farming. I will be using the case study China, to show that the poultry are at times really innocent with regards to the pollution effects critics of poultry farming has associated to them.

Some facts: About 1/3 of the industrial waste water and more than 90% of household sewage in China is released into rivers and lakes without being treated. Nearly 80% of China’s cities (278 of them) have no sewage treatment facilities and few have plans to build any and underground water supplies in 90% of the cites are contaminated

Diagram 1: Blood River – The Yangtse river

The picture above shows a the yangtze river, that has been dyed red. This is not the only occurrence of red rivers in China. Some of the incidences are caused by chemical dumping by industrial plants, but I’ll like to draw the attention to the case of Zhejiang. Drinking water of both Zhejiang and Shanghai (just 60 miles from Zhejiang) are under threat after 16,000 diseased pig carcasses are found in tributaries of the Huangpu river. According to CNN, a pig farm in JiaXing City was guilty of dumping at least 6000 pig carcasses into local river (Park and Zhang, 2013), south of Shanghai (The Guardian, 2013). These carcasses were found rotting (look at diagram 2) and early tests show they carry porcine circovirus, a common disease among hogs not known to be infectious to humans(The Guardian, 2013). Shanghai’s municipal water department maintains that the water meets the national standard, but hasn’t said much more.

Rotting carcasses hauled up from the Shanghai waterways

After public outcry about drinking water safety standards erupted, the local authorities quelled them, reiterating that drinking water is safe. For example, Pan Ting, an outspoken Shanghainese poet, was detained for questioning by police after she posted a call for a mass walk along the Huangpu, the city’s central river, on her Sina Weibo account. The post, which went out to her 50,000 followers on 14 March, called for a “pure stroll” without banners or slogans. Soon afterwards she was asked to “drink tea” (a.k.a interrogation) with the police (The Guardian, 2013).

This example drives through the point that the Chinese authorities have to work harder to combat its lax industrial and agricultural disposal enforcement, especially with a socially awakened Chinese netizens population.

My next post will be on the health effects of poultry dumping into water sources!

Stay tuned 😀

Work cited:

The Guardian, (2013). Rivers of blood: the dead pigs rotting in China’s water supply. [online] Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/mar/29/dead-pigs-china-water-supply [Accessed 12 Mar. 2015].

Park, M. and Zhang, D. (2015). Chinese farm says it dumped dead pigs in river – CNN.com. [online] CNN. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/13/world/asia/pigs-china-river/ [Accessed 12 Mar. 2015].


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