GUANGZHOU: Eight people were detained this week following a raid on an illegal slaughterhouse in the Haizhu district of this southern city, local media reported Thursday.
Police also seized more than 2,000 kg of pork and 6,000 pigskins that are believed to have come from animals that died of illness and disease, the New Express Daily reported.
An official surnamed Luo from the Guangzhou administration of industry and commerce said: "This is the largest case of its type in the city for five years."
According to the report, the unlicensed butchers bought dead and sick pigs for between 50 yuan ($7.30) and 200 yuan apiece, and after processing them, sold them on as meat for between 1,600 yuan and 2,500 yuan.
The group sold more than 1,000 kg of pork a day to hotels, markets and restaurants in Guangzhou and neighboring cities, the report said.
Luo and a 30-strong task force from the administration joined police in the raid on the slaughterhouse in the village of Houjiao.
A cooked meat store in a nearby bazaar, which is suspected of being an outlet for the meat, was also closed down pending further investigation.
Local man Chen Cuilan said the closure of the facility should help improve the quality of meat sold in markets.
"I just hope the government remains vigilant," he said.
Housewife Guan Wenxia said she hoped the people who ran the slaughterhouse are brought to justice. "People who sell meat from sick pigs have no conscience," she said.