Skip to content

Why you can’t feed food waste to pigs

The practice of swill feeding, the traditional term given to feeding food waste to pigs, is illegal in Australia.

Significant penalties apply to anyone convicted of supplying and/or feeding prohibited substances to all pigs, including pet pigs and pigs kept on your property for your own consumption.

Swill feeding was once a common practice because it reduced the costs of feeding.  It is now banned in all Australian states and territories because the practice is the most likely way in which livestock could be exposed to a disease outbreak, such as foot-and mouth disease.

The introduction of an exotic disease would have a devastating impact on the Australian livestock industry.

Everyone has a role to play.  Local Land Services biosecurity officers conduct regular inspections of piggeries.

If you run a commercial piggery, have a pet pig or work in the food industry you need to know what can be fed to pigs and how to dispose of feed waste appropriately.  It is important to be sure that the food you feed your pigs is clean.

What is prohibited?

·         Pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, deli meats, pizza and table scraps etc.

·         Carcasses and excreta or droppings of any mammal or bird (raw or cooked), including meat, bone, blood, offal, hide or feathers

·         Household, commercial or industrial waste, including restaurant waste

·         Used cooking oil or fat or any substance that has been in contact with prohibited pig feed via collection, storage or transport in the same container (such as meat trays and take-away food containers).

It is also important to ensure food substances for pigs are not contaminated with either antibiotic or pesticide residues.

What is permitted?

·         Milk, milk products and milk by-products either of Australian origin or legally imported into Australia for stock feed use

·         Eggs

·         Fruit and vegetables

·         Cereals

·         Non-meat bakery food items.

If in doubt do not feed any food waste without checking first.

For more information please contact your nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299, or a NSW Department of Primary Industries office can supply you with more information about how to comply with legal national standards on feeding and prohibited substances.


Media contact:  Mark McGaw, 02 4824 1911