The city of Dazhou in China's southwestern Sichuan Province is taking a hard line on what it believes is a significant contributor to the metropolis's "lingering" smog – the traditional practice of smoking bacon.
According to Xinhua, Dazhou has been suffering a nasty bout of persistent airborne PM2.5 particulates since the beginning of January – co-incidentally at the same time as locals prepare pork in anticipation of the Chinese lunar new year.
Following a declaration last week by Rao Bing, deputy head of the Dazhou Environment Protection Bureau, fingering smoking as one of the causes of the city's atmospheric woes, officials have "started to raid and forcibly demolish meat-smoking sites".
This is despite tests by the Bayu Public Welfare Development Centre, "a non-government environmental protection organization", whose volunteers determined after "a three-day survey at a dozen bacon-smoking sites" that "the impact of the smoking process is confined within a 50-metre radius".
Mr Rao's assertion has provoked a certain amount of scepticism online. One Sina Weibo commenter noted: "Smoking bacon has a long history, but smog does not."
China is battling to tackle the rising problem of urban smog. The BBC reports that pollution levels in Beijing today hit "hazardous levels", as "levels of PM2.5 particulates, which are the most hazardous to health, rose to 568 micrograms per cubic metre".
"The WHO [World Health Organisation] recommends a maximum of 25 micrograms per cubic metre," the Corporation adds. ®