An Australian campaign is underway to raise awareness of the risks of feeding any form of meat food scraps to pigs.
The campaign is to target small piggeries, farm stays, pet pig owners, menageries and abattoirs, as well as environmental health officers and food outlets.
“Many non-commercial pig owners and food outlet staff may not be aware that most food scraps fit the definition of swill and that feeding swill to pigs is illegal,” said Department of Agriculture and Food veterinarian Anna Erickson.
Foot and mouth
Erickson said feeding food scraps – the term used in the campaign instead of swill – to pigs would be the most likely way that foot and mouth disease (FMD) could enter Australia. This was the case for the UK’s outbreak of FMD in 2001.
“FMD could have devastating personal and financial effects on individual pig owners and Australia’s livestock industries,” she said.
Throughout the campaign department officers would be contacting all rural and outer metropolitan local government environmental health officers to update their knowledge about swill feeding and provide them with brochures to distribute to food outlets.