Food waste containing meat or other mammalian by-products must not be fed to pigs or ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats or deer). This food is prohibited feed commonly known as ‘swill’ for pigs and ‘Restricted Animal Material’ (RAM) for ruminants.
Feeding swill and RAM is illegal in all states and territories of Australia. Feeding swill may lead to serious diseases in pigs including foot and mouth disease and African and classical swine fevers. RAM may contain agents that cause fatal brain diseases such as mad cow disease.
Australia is currently free of these diseases but food waste containing these pathogens may be illegally imported into Australia undetected by quarantine. Banning the feeding of prohibited food waste to pigs and ruminants provides an
important defence against these and other serious livestock diseases to Australia.
Pigs or ruminants must not be fed or given access to food waste containing meat, meat products, illegally imported dairy products not of Australian origin, or anything that has been in contact with these items.
Examples include table scraps, meat pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, salads with bacon pieces, deli meats and
untreated used cooking oils and fats.
Anything that has been in contact with swill or RAM through the collection, storage or transport in contaminated containers such as meat trays and takeaway food containers, must not be fed or given access to pigs and ruminants
Businesses that prepare and/or sell food have a responsibility to dispose of food waste appropriately. It is illegal to provide a person with, or access to prohibited food waste to feed pigs or ruminants.
Prohibited food waste should be placed in a garbage bin for collection by your local council or commercial waste service for disposal in landfill or composting at a recycling facility.
If you suspect that prohibited food waste is being supplied to pig or ruminant owners, or pigs/ruminants can access or are being fed prohibited food waste, contact the NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity Hotline on 1800 680 244 or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888. Reports will be treated as confidential.
The feeding of pigs and ruminants is regulated under Part 2, Division 9, of the Biosecurity Regulation 2017 and penalties may apply under the Biosecurity Act 2015 for:
Contact the NSW Department of Primary Industries Biosecurity Hotline on 1800 680 244.