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Prohibited Pig Feed (Swill)


Food substances that should not be fed to pigs include all meat, meat products and any food that has come in contact with meat – traditionally called swill.

The feeding of swill (referred to as prohibited pig feed in legislation) to pigs is well recognised as a significant risk factor for the introduction and spread of many emergency animal diseases (EADs), particularly those caused by certain viruses, including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and African swine fever.

National Prohibited Pig Feed Definition

The Agricultural Ministers Forum (AGMIN) endorsed the national definition of Prohibited Pig Feed in June 2014.

Animal Health Committee (AHC) and SAFEMEAT endorsed two changes to the exemption clause (ii) (re provenance and increased temperature in part (2)) in 2020.

Prohibited pig feed means material of mammalian origin, or any substance that has come in contact with this material, but does not include:

  1. Milk, milk products or milk by-products either of Australian provenance or legally imported for stockfeed use into Australia.
  2. Material containing flesh, bones, blood, offal or mammal carcases which is treated by an approved process1.
  3. A carcass or part of a domestic pig, born and raised on the property on which the pig or pigs that are administered the part are held, that is administered for therapeutic purposes in accordance with the written instructions of a veterinary practitioner.
  4. Material used under an individual and defined-period permit issued by a jurisdiction for the purposes of research or baiting.

1In terms of (ii), approved processes are:

  1. rendering in accordance with the ‘Australian Standard for the Hygienic Rendering of Animal Products’
  2. under jurisdictional permit, cooking processes subject to compliance verification that ensure that a core temperature of at least 100oC for for a minimum of 30 minutes, or equivalent, has been reached.
  3. treatment of cooking oil, which has been used for cooking in Australia, in accordance with the ‘National Standard for Recycling of Used Cooking Fats and Oils intended for Animal Feeds’
  4. under jurisdictional permit, any other nationally agreed process approved by AHC for which an acceptable risk assessment has been undertaken and that is subject to compliance verification.

The national definition is a minimum standard. Some jurisdictions have additional conditions for swill feeding that pig producers in those jurisdictions must comply with, over and above the requirements of the national definition.

What CAN’T be fed to pigs

Food products that can’t be fed to pigs and are prohibited are:

  • pies, sausage rolls, bacon and cheese rolls, pizza, deli meats, table scraps, etc.
  • household, commercial or industrial waste including restaurant food and discarded cooking oils
  • anything that has been in contact with prohibited pig feed via collection, storage or transport in contaminated containers (such as meat trays and take-away food containers).

What CAN be fed to pigs

Food products that are can be fed to pigs and are not prohibited are:

  • milk, milk products and milk by-products either of Australian origin or legally imported into Australia for stockfeed use
  • eggs
  • dry meal made from meat, blood or bone (processed by commercial hot rendering and purchased from a reputable produce store or feed merchant)
  • non-meat bakery food substances
  • fruit, vegetables and cereals.

A detailed list of foods that are prohibited to feed to pigs in Australia can be found on your state government websites or you can download Australia Pork Limited’s Swill Feeding Fact Sheet.

Prohibited Pig Feed (Swill) Compliance and Awareness Project

Animal Health Australia coordinates the Prohibited Pig Feed (Swill) Compliance and Awareness Project (PPFCAP) on behalf of its relevant members.

The Prohibited Pig Feed Compliance and Awareness Project was developed in 2014-15 by the Swill Feeding Working Group as a more unified approach to:

  • the harmonisation of State and Territory legislation banning the provision and feeding of prohibited pig feed
  • understanding the locations of small pig holdings
  • enabling a national approach to swill feeding investigation and reporting that includes uniform inspection procedures, and communicates swill feeding outcomes to AHC
  • collaboration between states/territories/industry to implement a national strategy aimed at increasing awareness.

The objectives of the PPFCAP are:

  1. FMD and other EADs prevention – to ensure through legislative compliance that, in the unlikely event of FMD virus (or other EAD) entering/occurring in Australia, it will not be spread through stock feeds and the feeding of prohibited pig feed.
  2. Communications – to raise awareness of prohibited pig feed issues along the pig production chain and suppliers (e.g. feed).
  3. Market and industry confidence to maintain a nationally integrated inspection system to ensure and demonstrate compliance with legislation that bans the feeding of prohibited pig feed to pigs.

The working group is made up of state, territory and commonwealth government and pig industry representatives (Australian Pork Limited).

View the PPFC National Uniform Guidelines.


For further information please contact:

Phone: 02 6203 3947 Email:

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Page reviewed: 24/06/2020