Keep our pigs safe – dispose of food scraps responsibly
27 December 2019
Whether you are travelling down the Great Ocean Road to the Otways, throwing a line in the Murray River, or hiking at Wilsons Promontory remember to dispose of food scraps responsibly these holidays.
Victoria's Acting Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Sally Salmon has reminded all Victorians to ensure they think about how they dispose of food scraps when travelling.
"If you are camping, hiking, picnicking or just enjoying the great outdoors, please dispose of your food scraps responsibly," Dr Salmon said.
Dr Salmon said it was particularly important travellers across Victoria and interstate were careful with food waste due to the threat of African swine fever.
"If animals such as feral pigs can access and eat the food scraps, it could introduce an emergency animal disease into Australia and could devastate our livestock industries."
"African swine fever has spread rapidly around the world in the past year and was recently confirmed in neighbouring country Indonesia," Dr Salmon said.
"We're asking everyone to do their bit to keep it out of Australia."
Dr Salmon said feral or domestic pigs eating contaminated meat scraps was one of the most likely ways exotic diseases could arise Australia.
"Feeding food scraps, sometimes called 'swill', to pigs is illegal in Australia, for this reason" Dr Salmon said.
"Swill is food waste containing meat, meat products, food that has been served on the same plate as meat, or imported dairy products."
Dr Salmon said recent detections of the African swine fever virus fragments in pork products confiscated by Commonwealth biosecurity officials at the national border highlighted how easily diseases and pests could enter our state.
"While there has been increased screening for banned pork products at the border, it's not enough to rely on biosecurity inspections alone.
"Biosecurity is everyone's responsibility and we all need to help protect our agriculture, our economy and our unique natural environment."
Find out more about African swine fever at agriculture.vic.gov.au/africanswinefever.
To make a disease report, call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.
Contact Name: Nicole Cairns
Contact Number: 0436 675 030
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity