Pig Health and Welfare
The department's Animal Health and Welfare programs aim to:
- monitor disease occurrence
- mitigate the economical and social effects of disease and chemical residue occurrence
- facilitate the marketing of Victorian livestock and livestock products
- promote the welfare of farmed animals.
Development and delivery of the programs involves policy, legislation, advisory, research and regulatory activities.
Increasingly, the programs form part of a national approach to ensure that our livestock and livestock products meet the requirements of domestic and international customers.
Pig Services Centre (Bendigo)
The role of the Pig Services Centre at Bendigo is to:
- enhance the productivity and sustainability of Victoria's pork industry,
- increase the likelihood that the department will quickly become aware of and appropriately manage emergency and unusual disease events on Victorian pig farms,
- ensure that industry participants are skilled in the handling and management of pigs in accordance with relevant welfare legislation.
The specific services of the centre includes:
- technical support and advice to pig farmers
- laboratory and on-farm disease investigation services
- abattoir-based pig health monitoring services (PHMS)
- training in Certificate III in Agriculture (Pork Productivity) and the Pork Industry
Disease surveillance is regularly performed by visiting selected abattoirs across the state. Pig carcasses are inspected for lesions that may be associated with endemic or exotic diseases. Abattoir inspections can be used as an aid to monitor herd health (particularly for larger herds) and for the early identification of production limiting disease problems. This monitoring is also useful for evaluating the success of any disease reduction program that a producer has in place.
The Centre provides advice to veterinary practitioners, particularly those with limited pig experience, to enable them to better support their pig-owning clients. Staff assist by providing advice on pig diseases coupled where appropriate with on-the-ground support, including post mortems and diagnostic testing.
If foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was ever to enter Australia, pigs will almost certainly be implicated in the outbreak. The role of the Centre is to ensure that the department quickly becomes aware of unusual disease events on Victorian pig farms.
The centre has a well-established vaccine production laboratory with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) accreditation provided by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). The Centre produces autogenous (farm specific) vaccines that are not available "off-the-shelf" to assist with the control of endemic diseases of pigs and poultry. Some of the pig vaccines produced at the Centre are against pleuropneumonia caused by Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae (APP), Glassers disease caused by Haemophillus parasuis and Greasy Pig disease caused by Staphyloccus hyicus The main poultry vaccine produced at the Centre targets Salmonella species.
More information on Abattoir surveillance monitoring.
For more information on On-farm pig health monitoring and surveillance.
Find more information on common pig diseases and health.
Herd health checklist
Use this checklist to monitor the health of your herd.
Find information about the guidelines and regulations put in place to protect pig welfare.
Code of Accepted Farming Practice for Livestock Producers
Biosecurity for pigs
Read the biosecurity guidelines for pig producers and information regarding:
- swill feeding
- foot and mouth
- notifiable diseases
- recognising exotic diseases
- best practice for pig exhibits.