North Coast LLS warns illegal foods can lead to African swine fever (ASF) and foot-and-mouth disease

Did you know that certain food scraps fed to pigs can lead to diseases like African swine fever (ASF) and foot-and-mouth disease?

North Coast Local Land Services (LLS) are reminding pig owners that some food materials are actually illegal to feed to pigs under Australian law.

Known as ‘swill’, prohibited pig feed includes meat, meat products or any other food that has been in contact with meat. 

Pigs must not be fed:

●        Bakery goods containing meat such as pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls

●        Household, commercial or industrial waste including restaurant food

●        Mammal carcasses

Swill feeding restrictions apply to all pigs, including pet pigs in Australia because of its potential to introduce serious livestock diseases like African swine fever (ASF) and foot-and-mouth disease.

Foods not considered prohibited pig feed, which may be fed to pigs include:

●        Milk, milk products and by products either of Australian origin or legally imported into Australia for stockfeed use

●        Eggs

●        Commercial made dry meal made from meat, blood or bone

●        Non-meat bakery goods

●        Fruit vegetables and cereals

ASF is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and feral pigs. According to the LLS, if introduced to Australia, it would have a significant impact on pig health and production and contribute to wider economic impacts, including loss of access to overseas markets for our pork products.

ASF is present in countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and has more recently been detected in other parts of the world such as countries in Eastern Europe including Russia and the Ukraine. It has most recently been reported in Belgium (wild boar), China and Mongolia.

LLS has stated at the ASF virus has recently been detected in seized pork products at international airports and mail processing centres in Australia, however, this does not change Australia’s ASF free status, but reinforces the importance of continued risk management and compliance with Australia’s biosecurity requirements.

“Thankfully, we have never had ASF in Australia and everyone has a role in protecting the health and welfare of Australia’s livestock,” North Coast LLS District Veterinarian, Phil Kemsley said

“If you own pigs, never feed meat or any food that could have had contact with meat,” Phil said.

If you are unsure of what is allowable to feed to your pigs contact your nearest Local Land Services District Veterinarian for advice.