Prohibited Pig Feed and Restricted Animal Material 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.

Prohibited Pig Feed​​

Food scraps or waste that contains or has come into contact with meat or meat products is known as ‘prohibited pig feed’.

Previously, ‘prohibited pig feed’ was known as 'swill’ under the Animal Health Act 1995. ‘Swill’ was defined by the Animal Health Act 1995 as any material of placental mammal origin (other than milk and milk by-products, properly rendered meat meal, or tallow). 

As of 17 May 2023, the Animal Health Act 1995 was repealed and replaced by the Biosecurity Act 2019​​

‘Swill’ is now referred to as ‘prohibited pig feed’ in Tasmania’s legislation, in line with other Australian states.

The Biosecurity Regulations 2022, section 8(1)​, state that: “feeding prohibited pig feed to a pig is prescribed to be a prohibited dealing for the purposes of section 17(2) of the Biosecurity Act 2019.”

Therefore, feeding prohibited pig feed to pigs is illegal in Tasmania. In fact, it is illegal in all Australian states and territories. 

The ban on prohibited pig feed is a highly 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.

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

Prohibited pig feeding has caused several exotic disease outbreaks, including the FMD epidemic in the UK in 2001, a likely contributer in Indonesia in 2022, and currently plays a major role in spreading ASF within and between countries.

The Prohibited Pig Feed (Swill) Complianc​e 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.

More information on ​how to help prevent the spread of diseases such as FMD can be found on the Biosecurity Tasmania ​webpages:​

​​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.

More details about the national RAM requirements can be found on the Animal Health Australia webpage Australian Ruminant Feed Ban.

​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:

Contact

Animal Disease Enquiries

13 St Johns Avenue,
New Town, TAS, 7008.