Why this little piggy should have no roast beef

PRODUCTION ADVICE & NRM NEWS -  MAY 2022 - ANIMAL HEALTH

By Linda Searle District Veterinarian
P:  03 5881 9919  | M:  0427 629 740  | E:  linda.searle@lls.nsw.gov.au

You are probably familiar with the children’s nursery rhyme ‘This little piggy'. But unlike in the rhyme, no pigs should be getting roast beef, whether they are going to market or not!

In Australia, there is a ban on feeding meat to pigs. Known as prohibited pig feed (traditionally referred to as swill), items like pies, sausage rolls, deli meats, bacon and cheese rolls and table scraps that contain or have been in contact with meat must not be fed to pigs.

Swill Feeding has been identified as the highest risk of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease (FMD) and African swine fever (ASF) entering Australia. An exotic disease outbreak could cost Australia billions of dollars and close our export markets overnight.

While ASF only affects pigs, FMD affects multiple species. So, while an FMD infection may start from a pig devouring infected swill, they amplify infection producing millions of virus particles. These can then go on to infect nearby cloven-hooved animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, and deer.

The restrictions on pig feed apply to all pigs. Including pet pigs, which will never be eaten, and salami pigs which are home killed.

To make sure pig owners understand these requirements, Murray Local Land Services biosecurity staff visit properties in our region that have pigs, every four years to do an audit of what the pigs are fed.

Anyone with a pig, including pet pigs and single pigs destined for the freezer, need to have a Property Identification Code (PIC) no matter the size of the property the pig is running on.

To register for a PIC, get more information on what you can and can’t feed pigs, or to speak to a vet about any unusual illness that you have observed in your pigs please call your nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299.

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