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Australian farmers fined for feeding swill to pigs

Three Australian farmers have been fined almost AUD$33,000 (€20,180) for swill feeding 620 pigs at three separate properties in New South Wales (NSW).

It is one of the biggest swill busts in NSW, according to Primary Industries Minister Ian Macdonald. NSW Department of Primary Industries agricultural compliance manager, Andrew Sanger, said the pigs were being allowed to feed on dead sheep as well as other animal carcasses including pigs and poultry from the Forbes properties.

Illegal
The NSW DPI and the local Rural Lands Protection Board investigated the case and brought it before the court as a breach of the Stock Diseases Act. Dr Sanger said the seriousness of the offences can not be overstated. "Swill feeding is illegal," he said.

"Activities like this increase risk of spreading a number of endemic diseases like anthrax, and have the potential to cause exotic disease outbreaks such as Foot-and-Mouth Disease.

"Diseases associated with swill feeding animals have the potential to cause massive disaster for our livestock industries through loss of export markets, lost production and large-scale animal health and welfare issues."

Disease
Swill feeding has caused foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks overseas, including the catastrophic epidemic in the UK in 2001. It was common in Australia in the 1950s and is now banned nationwide. Some food wastes have been categorised as 'prohibited substances', and it is against the law to feed them to pigs.

Related website:
• Australian Department of Primary Industries (DPI)

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