A court in east China's Zhejiang Province on Wednesday issued prison sentences ranging from six months to six-and-a-half years to 46 people involved in processing and selling meat from diseased pigs.
Zhang Xingbing, the principal offender who illegally purchased, slaughtered the diseased pigs and sold the meat, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and fined 800,000 yuan (128,687 U.S. dollars), according to the Wenling People's Court.
Forty-five other offenders and local vendors who sold diseased pigs to Zhang were also sentenced on Wednesday.
They illegally purchased, slaughtered and sold diseased pigs and processed diseased pork to sell from 2010 to 2012.
The Wenling Public Security Department launched a campaign to apprehend people involved in the case and seize the diseased pork from April 4, 2012, the court said, adding that 6,218 kilograms of pork products that tested positive for various viruses have been seized and will be destroyed.
Meanwhile, a dead pig dumping scandal is also swirling around Zhejiang. Neighboring Shanghai has collected about 6,000 dead pigs from the Huangpu River since Friday, after the corpses were allegedly dumped in the river by pig farms in Zhejiang's Jiaxing City.
Porcine circovirus was detected in one water sample taken from the Huangpu River, according to the local agricultural commission. Endi