Feeding swill to pigs is illegal, introduces diseases

20-09-2013 | | |
Feeding swill to pigs is illegal, introduces diseases

Britain’s National Pig Association’s (NPA) campaign ‘Don’t kill me with kindness’ (launched this month) emphasises that feeding swill to pigs is not only illegal but it also risks introducing disease epidemics into Britain and urges pig producers not to do it.

The message been put across by environmental activists who want the European Union ban on feeding swill to pigs lifted may be confusing to hobby pig-keepers, warns the NPA.

Their new campaign explains that feeding kitchen and catering waste (swill) carries a penalty of up to two years in jail because it risks introducing costly and damaging disease epidemics to Britain.

The 2001 foot-and-mouth epidemic was caused by feeding inadequately treated catering waste to pigs. It took nine months to bring under control, during which time ten million pigs, sheep and cattle were slaughtered, and it cost the country £8 billion.

In Britain and throughout the European Union it is illegal to feed raw or cooked catering waste to pigs, including waste from household kitchens.

It is permissible to feed pigs fruit and vegetables direct from the garden or allotment, but feeding waste from the kitchen is illegal — even raw or cooked left-over vegetables, as these may have come into contact with raw or cooked meats.

Foot-and-mouth, classical swine fever and African swine fever are opportunistic and persistent diseases. They can live for months, sometimes years, in raw and processed meat.

And at any time they may be present in countries that export fresh, frozen and processed meats to Britain. They can also arrive in this country in fresh and cooked foods carried by holidaymakers, visitors and people working here. They can even survive on clothing for up to a fortnight.