Swill and Restricted Animal Materials Feeding

​​​​​​​​​​​​​When feeding animals, owners must be aware that there are restrictions placed on the specific 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.


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).

Feeding swill to pigs is illegal in Tasmania and all Australian states and territories. 

The ban on swill feeding is a most important part of Au​stralia's efforts to keep diseases such as African swine fever (ASF), classical swine fever (CSF) and 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 and is currently playing a major role in spreading ASF within and between countries.

​Many exotic animal disease viruses are highly resistant to chilling, freezing and curing. Boiling swill may not destroy all disease organisms.

The Prohibited Pig Feed (Swill) Compliance an​d Awarene​​​ss​​​​ Project works nationally via Animal Health Australia​, to enhance awareness of the risks of swill feeding and harmonise the approach to managing those risks across the pig production chain and its suppliers.

​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. 

Care needs to be taken to not feed ruminants with poultry and fish food which may contain RAM.

The general public has an important rol​e 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, BSE, ASF and other exotic animal diseases out of Australia.

​Food Waste - Recycling

Food waste is a growing problem in Australia with millions of tonnes of food discarded in landfill annually. Increased community interest in local food recycling includes the suggestion that more waste could be used to feed animals. What could go wrong?

These factsheets and posters contain important information about the dangers of feeding food waste to pigs and other ruminant livestock:

  Food Waste - Can I feed it to livestock?​​   (238Kb)

  Food Waste - Can I feed it to my pigs?   (219Kb)

  Fo​od Waste - Can I supply it to my customers as animal feed?   (250Kb)​

  Recycling food waste ​safely   (443Kb) (A3 poster for display to food outlet staff)​

  Guide to food ​waste that should not be fed to ​animals   (389Kb) (A3 poster for display to food outlet staff)

For further information:


Animal Disease Enquiries
13 St Johns Avenue
New Town TAS 7008
Phone: 03 6165 3777
Email: AnimalDisease.Enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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