Saturday, December 08, 2007

Pig Ban in Dongguan

Dongguan, Guangdong bans pig farming beginning January 1, 2009. The major concern behind the highly controversial decision is said to be the pollution caused by pig defecation. It is no longer a secret that China is suffering a crisis of pork shortage. Pork being the main source of animal protein for most Chinese is touching every normal people's life as gas to commuter Americans. For the first time in many years China imported a sizable load of pork from the US. However the import pork is beyond price range of 99.97% of Chinese people.

In history, pig defecation was not a source of pollution, but rather a key booster for organic agriculture. However, processing pig defecation became a burden for farmers when the price of chemical fertilizer dropped to near zero. Unprocessed pig poops strained the local pollution control effort, which had already been running in the red zone because of the fast growing industries. To the end, it's cheaper for the Dongguan government to purchase pork from other areas, and leaves the precious pollution facilities to industrial growth. A quick Googling dug out an interesting blog about using pig poop to control industrial waste water polluted by heavy metals. Coincidently, the major type of industrial waste in Dongguan is that of heavy metals.

In less than a month, Dongguan people will be cooking pork from some other (remote poor) areas of China, where people don't really care about pollution.

Dongguan, a tiny town unknown to outside Guangzhou 30 years ago, grew into a satellite city of Guangzhou in the 90s, and now a mega-city of more than 10 million people of its own.

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