The risks of disposing of food scraps on-farm


By Linda Searle
District Veterinarian

Do you dispose of food waste on-farm? Are you in an area with feral pigs or do you keep pigs yourself? Do you operate a farm-stay business or have a lot of visitors, especially those who travel overseas? Then you should consider the risks of introducing to Australia diseases such as African swine fever.

Piglets foraging on a farmAfrican swine fever is exotic to Australia but is present in many countries in Asia and Europe. This disease, and others such as foot and mouth disease, can be spread by infected meat. Contaminated meat, illegally imported into Australia, can infect pigs that eat it. Infected pigs can then go on to infect other pigs, or in the case of foot and mouth disease, other livestock such as cows, sheep and goats. This is why pigs must not be allowed to eat meat scraps. If Australia was to become infected with either of these diseases, it could devastate our livestock industries and stop our meat products being exported.

What should I do with my food waste?

You are allowed to feed meat scraps to dogs and chooks in NSW. Different rules apply to the feeding of chooks in Queensland. If using an open farm tip, you could consider regular back filling. Think about how you can dispose of your food scraps in a way to stop feral pigs from eating them.

Click the links to find further information on responsible disposal of food waste and what you can and can't feed to pigs.

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