Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

Avoiding swill saves Australia’s bacon

February 6, 2014

Two pigsPig producers, together with restaurants and food outlets that provide food waste for pig consumption, are being reminded that swill feeding is illegal throughout Australia. Anyone caught feeding swill to pigs could face significant fines under state legislation.

The stern reminder follows a recent Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries survey of regional Victorian restaurants, hotels and other food outlets.

The survey revealed that approximately 12 per cent of the 613 businesses surveyed provided food waste to pig owners, with a handful of businesses now facing prosecution for the provision of swill to pig owners.

Animal Health Australia’s (AHA) Chief Executive Officer, Kathleen Plowman, said pork producers should visit Farm Biosecurity pig industry page to learn about approved feeding practices and feed types for Australia’s pig industry.

“The pig industry page is your one-stop-shop for vital information on protecting your pigs through good on-farm biosecurity practices, including information on safe feeding methods and why swill feeding should be avoided at all costs.

“Swill is food waste containing meat or any other mammalian products or by-products, excluding milk. This also includes imported dairy products and any foods that have been in contact with meat, such as leftover vegetables on a plate from a Sunday roast, or even the leftover ham and cheese roll.

“Swill could contain viruses such as African swine fever, foot and mouth disease and Aujeszky’s disease, all of which could have far reaching impacts on Australia’s livestock industry. Avoiding swill is a simple case of ‘prevention is much better and cheaper than the cure’,” said Ms Plowman.