The State Council on Oct 31 decided to review punishments on the illegal disposal of diseased animals and carcasses.
Individuals and organizations are banned from dumping, trading and processing diseased animals and poultry or their carcasses without proper procedures. Agriculture and food safety authorities will pursue and punish offenders, along with police in cases that violate the Criminal Law.
The order also clarifies the responsibilities of local governments at different levels. County governments will dispose dead animals and birds found in rivers, lakes and reservoirs while township governments are in charge of those found in public places. They should both report such discoveries to their superior governments.
Many farms are small businesses without proper disposal facilities and they are inclined to dispose animal waste carelessly, said the State Council.
In March last year, 6,000 rotting pig carcasses were found floating in the Huangpu River, an important source of Shanghai’s tap water, causing widespread panic.
An investigation found that hog farms along the upper reach of the river had dumped the carcasses to save the cost of sending them to legal disposal facilities.