Swill feeding


Swill feeding is the traditional name for the feeding of food scraps to pigs. This practice has caused foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks overseas, including the catastrophic epidemic in the United Kingdom in 2001. Some food substances have been categorised as prohibited pig feed ('swill') and it is illegal to feed them to pigs in Australia.

Topics include:

  • What is swill feeding?
  • What food substances are considered swill?
  • Are there any food substances that are not considered swill?
  • Why all the fuss over swill feeding?
  • Are you in the food business?
  • How do I report swill feeding to authorities?

More information on biosecurity procedure, Prohibited pig feed (PDF, 1849.95 KB).


Primefact 637 Eighth Edition

Published: Jul 2022

Do NOT feed swill to your pigs

How does swill feeding cause disease in pigs?

Step 1: Infected stock are processed into meat products overseas

Step 2: Infected meat or meat products may be illegally imported into Australia undetected by quarantine

Step 3: Food scraps containing infected meat or meat products are illegally fed to pigs

Step 4: Pigs become infected with a serious exotic disease such as African swine fever

Step 5: Disease spreads quickly to other pigs by pig movements and infected materials