Swill feed

Swill feeding is illegal

Swill is the traditional name for food scraps or food waste that contains or has come into contact with meat or meat products.

Swill is a "Prohibited pig feed" which means it is illegal to feed to pigs in Australia.

These rules apply to all pigs including pet pigs and pigs kept on your property for your own consumption.

Prohibited pig feed is defined as: Material of mammalian origin, or any substance that has come into contact with this material.

Put simply pigs must NOT be fed or allowed to eat meat or meat products OR anything that has come into contact with meat or meat products.

Why is it illegal?

Swill can contain viruses which cause diseases such as Foot-and-mouth disease, African swine fever virus and Aujeszky's disease. These diseases are currently not found in Australian livestock and could have far reaching impacts on Australia's valuable livestock industries.

Don't feed these to pigs

You must not feed meat, meat products or anything that has been in contact with meat to pigs. This includes:

  • pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, pizza, deli meats, table scraps etc;
  • household, commercial or industrial waste including restaurant food and discarded cooking oils;
  • anything that has been in contact with prohibited pig feed via collection, storage or transport in contaminated containers (such as meat trays and take-away food containers).

If in doubt do not feed any food waste to your pigs.

Exceptions

Prohibited pig feed does NOT include:

  • Milk or milk products that are of Australian origin or have been legally imported for stock-feed use in Australia;
  • Rendered or commercially manufactured meat meals produced in accordance with the Australian Standards for the Hygienic Rendering of Animal Products;
  • Other feed that has been approved in writing.

If you are unsure what you can and can't feed your pigs contact your local PIRSA office or call (08) 8207 7900. for assistance.

What should I feed my pigs?

To be on the safe side look for quality assured feeds that have been prepared under a quality assurance program such as feedSafe®, visit www.sfmca.com.au for a list of accredited suppliers.

Also ask your feed supplier for a vendor declaration for documentation that your pigs have not been fed anything of concern.

Supplying swill is prohibited

Businesses that prepare and sell food (e.g. restaurants, bakeries, hotels, fast food outlets, hospitals), have a legal responsibility to dispose of food waste appropriately.  It is illegal to provide a person with prohibited food waste that is to be fed to pigs.

What are the penalties?

Strong penalties apply if you are caught doing any of the following:

Feeding prohibited pig feed to pigs;

  • Allowing pigs to access prohibited pig feed;
  • Storing prohibited pig feed at a place where one or more pigs are kept;
  • Collecting and/or supplying prohibited pig feed to be fed to pigs.

Maximum Penalty: $10,000

Report swill feeding

If you suspect pigs are being fed prohibited pig feed call (08) 8207 7900 or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

What should I do if my pigs get sick?

If your pigs show serious or unusual symptoms or behaviour, contact your private veterinarian or Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Related information

Page Last Reviewed: 29 Mar 2017
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