Chinese authorities are looking into allegations that one of the country's most famous sausage makers used sick pigs in its products.
News of the situation broke on the night of March 18, when state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported that Xincheng Jinluo Group in Linyi City of the eastern Shandong Province, allegedly allowed a supplier to transport unquarantined pigs to its plant in Dezhou City.
The factory then allegedly purchased sick pigs and pigs that had suffered foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), even though the animals' ear tags and quarantine papers were printed by the sales agents themselves, according to a report from Xinhua News Agency.
In a statement released two days later, Shandong's provincial bureau of animal husbandry and veterinary medicine said that it will conduct a thorough investigation into the case, and will punish anyone implicated in accordance with law.
Xincheng Jinluo Group said on its website that it has halted all production at its Dezhou factory and sealed up all the products there, and that it will cooperate with investigators.
Founded in 1994, Xincheng Jinluo Group is one of China's leading meat product makers. It has an annual manufacturing capacity of three million metric tons, according to its website.