First Dead Pigs, Now Dead Ducks Foul a Chinese River

More than 1,000 dead ducks foul Chinese river. (CCTV/APTN/ABC News)

Having already cleaned up thousands of dead pigs from a river outside Shanghai, Chinese officials are now assuring folks that the hundreds of rotting ducks fished out of a river poses no health danger.

Officials in Sichuan province in southwest China were notified the more than 1,000 dead ducks on Tuesday, county spokesman Liang Weidong told state radio. The duck carcasses with a pungent stench were found in more than 50 plastic woven bags floating on Pengshan section of the Nanhe River.

The government reassured citizens that the duck carcasses had been disinfected and buried and that there was no threat to humans and livestock along the bank of the river since the Nanhe River is not a drinking water source, Liang said.

The local authorities could not identify the cause of death because the corpses too decomposed. The possibility of infectious disease has been excluded.

"We have visited and searched more than 390 duck sheds in the area. There is no sign an epidemic broke out. We believe the large amount of ducks died because the weather suddenly got too warm," said Shi Qian, the director of Sichuan Animal Health Inspection Bureau.

The livestock bureau in Panshan County is putting extra effort in further investigation on locating the farms and finding the farmers tossed the dead ducks in the river.

"As long as we identify the farmers who tossed the dead ducks, I think they would be heavily punished," said Liang.

Officials said the toll of dead pigs removed from floating in Shanghai river reached 11,000.