28bn Australian FMD warning follows new swill feeding legislation

Food businesses in the State of Victoria, Australia, risk being fined the equivalent of £29,699 if they’re found to be supplying swill, or food scraps that contain animal products, to pig farms.

The state government has introduced fresh legislation to further protect the region’s pig and wider livestock industries from swill feeding. The new food company fine of A$53,139 (£29,699) is on top of an existing swill feeding penalty for farmers of up to A$17,713 (£9,899).

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh ([pictured) said: “Swill feeding has the potential to cause an outbreak of exotic disease like foot and mouth disease, which could cost the Australian economy up to A$50bn (£28bn) in the event of a large-scale outbreak.”

Livestock biosecurity is very much in the spotlight in the state with a major forum run by the Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) planned for September 1. The keynote speaker at the forum will be Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Professor Charles Milne, who will “reflect on his experience of managing outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the UK during his time as the Chief Veterinary Officer of Scotland”. 

VFF Livestock president Ian Feldtmann commented: “A FMD outbreak would cripple Australia’s meat export industry, of which Australia exports approximately 50% of produced beef, and 60% of produced sheepmeat.”

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