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Piggery owner fined for swill feeding

A piggery owner from the Illawarra has been fined $550 for swill feeding of pigs.
NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) regulatory officers fined the man after a number of animal bones were found in a pig pen on his property.

“The owner of the small scale non-commercial piggery was fined for not taking reasonable steps to prevent pigs getting access to prohibited substances – namely animal bones,” Dr Andrew Sanger DPI Director Biosecurity Compliance said.

“Swill feeding is feeding meat, meat products or anything that has been in contact with meat to pigs – and it is illegal because it risks spreading serious animal diseases.

“DPI officers have been working with veterinarians and rangers from the Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) investigating this serious breach.

“The bones have been removed under instruction and disposed of at the local waste facility.

“The pigs involved were detained to ensure they posed no disease risk, and have since been released from detention following veterinary inspection.”

Dr Sanger said the seriousness of swill feeding can not be overstated.

“Swill feeding has the potential to cause exotic disease outbreaks such as foot and mouth disease,” he said.

“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.”

Dr Sanger said swill is the traditional name given to food wastes fed to pigs.

“Some food wastes are prohibited substances and are NOT allowed to be fed to pigs.

“You must not feed meat or meat products or anything that has been in contact with meat to pigs.”

Dr Sanger said while the overwhelming majority of pig owners do the right thing, it only takes one or two bad apples to cause a major problem.

“In 2008, three Forbes district farmers were fined a total of $32,980 in Forbes Local Court for swill feeding 620 pigs at three separate properties in the Central West.

“It was one of the largest swill feeding busts seen in NSW – but the fines highlight the seriousness of breaching swill feeding regulations,” he said.

Dr Sanger said the authorities are investigating a separate swill feeding breach with a view to prosecution.

Further information on swill feeding here or talk to your LHPA veterinarian.

Do not feed the following to pigs:

Any meat products. This includes pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, pizza, salami and other delicatessen meats and table scraps.
Any carcase or part of a carcase of any mammal or bird. This includes any meat (raw or cooked), bone, blood, offal, hide or feathers. Pigs that feed on carcases are also at risk of contracting anthrax which is contagious to humans.
The excreta (droppings) of any mammal or bird.
Any substance that has come into contact with a prohibited substance via collection, storage or transport in a contaminated container such as meat trays and take away food containers.
Household, commercial or industrial waste. This includes restaurant waste.

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