Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In defense of liquified pig corpses

  

A better alternative?

A Chinese pig farm in central Hunan province is under investigation for using an alkaline solution to dissolve diseased pig carcasses and dumping the fluid into a local river. Netizens and officials alike are disgusted, and yes, it is indisputably gross. But the practice is not as dangerous as you might think—the United States has been doing it for years.

In a 2004 report (pdf) entitled “Carcass Disposal: A Comprehensive Review,” a research consortium in association with the US Department of Agriculture said that dissolving carcasses can be an efficient way to cull diseased animals. The only byproducts are “a sterile, coffee-colored alkaline solution with a soap-like odor” which “can be released into a sanitary sewer,” plus minerals from the animal’s bones and teeth, usable as a powdered soil fertilizer. According to the report, one US-based company has 30 to 40 dissolving units in operation across the country.

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