Laws against supplying and feeding prohibited feed to pigs (swill)
It is illegal to feed prohibited feed for pigs and poultry swill to all pigs, including pet pigs and pigs owned by hobby farmers.
Penalties for swill feeding include fines and imprisonment.
Swill is material that:
- contains, or may contain, the carcass of a mammal or bird
- contains, or may contain, material from a mammal or bird (including meat, eggs, blood, faeces)
- has been in contact with either of these (including food or food scraps from a restaurant, hotel or home that may have been in contact with meat or meat products or other material from a mammal or bird).
Why swill is dangerous
Prohibited pig feed (swill) may contain:
- harmful viruses that could cause foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) or African swine fever (ASF).
- other significant viruses not currently found in Australia.
Some viruses can remain viable in food even after chilling, freezing or inadequate cooking.
Learn more about the dangers of feeding prohibited feed to pigs in this short FMD video.
Do not feed these foods to pigs
Household, supermarket, commercial or industrial waste, including restaurant food, butcher shop waste and bakery waste, could contain banned items (i.e. prohibited pig feed).
Do not feed:
- table scraps that contain meat or meat products
- meat pies
- sausage rolls
- bacon and cheese rolls
- Caesar salad with bacon pieces
- deli meats
- milk or milk products not of Australian origin (unless imported as feed for livestock)
- untreated used cooking oils and fats
- anything that has been in contact with the above through collection, storage or transport in contaminated containers (such as meat trays or takeaway food containers).
Download a fact sheet about anti-swill feeding for food outlets (also available in Chinese and Vietnamese).
Food that can be fed to pigs
It is best to only feed your pigs commercially available pig feed.
Legally you can feed these items to pigs.
- Products rendered in accordance with the current Australian standard for the hygienic rendering of animal products
- Meals made from meat, blood or bone that have been purchased from a reputable produce store or feed merchant (look for feed produced by an accredited feed supplier under a quality assurance program such as FeedSafe®)
- Milk of Australian origin
- Milk products or milk by-products made in Australia and derived from milk of Australian origin
- Milk or milk by-products lawfully imported into Australia as feed for livestock
Used cooking oil
- Used cooking oil that was used for cooking in Australia and has been collected and processed in accordance with the National standard for recycling of used cooking fats and oils intended for animal feeds
Other food products
- Bakery or vegetable scraps that do not contain, and have had no contact with, eggs, meat or meat products
- Fruit, vegetables and cereals
Dispose of food waste responsibly
Businesses that prepare and sell food have a responsibility to dispose of food waste safely.
Food waste considered prohibited pig feed should be placed in an appropriate waste bin for collection and disposal.
Report swill feeding or possible disease
Contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23 if you:
- Last reviewed: 8 Jun 2023
- Last updated: 8 Jun 2023