When providing feed for animals, owners must be aware that there are specific restrictions placed on the types of food you are allowed to give to your animals. These restrictions are put in place to ensure that feed is suitable for the needs of the animal AND to prevent the introduction and spread of serious diseases.
Feeding swill to pigs is illegal in Tasmania as it is in all Australian states and territories.
While national definitions for swill and swill feeding have been developed, Tasmanian legislation is yet to harmonise with the national definitions and until such time these differences should be observed by owners and handlers of pigs in Tasmania.
Currently in Tasmania 'swill' is defined by the Animal Health Act 1995 as any material containing material of placental mammal origin (other than milk and milk by-products, properly rendered meat meal, or tallow).
The national definitions of 'swill' and 'swill feeding' can be found on Animal Health Australia's webpage for the Prohibited Pig Feed (Swill) Compliance and Awareness Project (PPFCAP).
The ban on swill feeding is a most important part of Australia's efforts to keep foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) out of the country.
Swill feeding has been the cause of several exotic disease outbreaks, including the FMD epidemic in the UK in 2001.
Many exotic animal disease viruses are highly resistant to chilling, freezing and curing. Boiling swill may not destroy all disease organisms.
Restricted Animal Material (RAM)
Feeding Restricted Animal Materials (RAM) to ruminant animals (for example cattle, sheep, and goats) is also illegal in Australia. RAM is any animal product other than milk or milk protein, tallow and gelatin. Feeding RAM to cattle caused the outbreak of Mad Cow Disease (BSE) in the UK.
The general public has an important role in maintaining Australia's freedom from exotic diseases. If you believe someone is feeding swill or RAM to livestock or someone is supplying swill to pig owners or RAM for feeding to ruminants, please report your concerns to the Department (contact details below)
It is of the utmost importance that we all play a part in keeping FMD and other exotic animal diseases out of Australia.