More than 12,000 dead pigs have been found floating in one of China’s main rivers, the Shiangpu.
Locals are doing their best to fish the carcasses out, but the numbers are staggering.
Reports claim 9,000 have been found in Shanghai and 3,600 others upstream in Jiaxing, a centre for pig-farming.
The authorities are closely monitoring water supplies. Traces of a common pig virus have been found in some of the dead animals.
The state’s chief vet said they have mobilised all their resources to deal with the problem.
State media report that, in 2012, 130,000 farmers raised more than seven million pigs.
Officials in Shanghai have blamed farmers upstream for throwing infected animals into the river to dispose of them.
However, only one producer has admitted doing so.