Preventing foot-and-mouth disease

An outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Australia is most likely to be caused by:

  • the importation of contaminated food, in particular salted or cured meats
  • the feeding of 'swill' (food or food waste containing certain animal products) to pigs.

Preventing these illegal activities is the best way to prevent FMD from occurring here.

Keep illegal food products out of Australia

Australia's quarantine laws and border surveillance restrict the importation of FMD-susceptible animals and products, including salted and cured meats.

Travellers entering Australia must declare:

  • all food, plant material and animal products to ensure they are free from pests and diseases
  • if they have visited a farm while overseas.

FMD virus fragments have been detected in meat confiscated at Australian airports by the Australian Government of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Some travellers have had their visa cancelled because of these biosecurity breaches.

You can help keep FMD out of Australia by sharing this information with any travellers you know, particularly if they will be visiting or working on farms in Australia.

Prohibited feed for pigs and poultry—swill

Legislation in all Australian states and territories, including Queensland's Biosecurity Act 2014, outlaws feeding prohibited feed for pigs and poultry (swill) to pigs or poultry. In the context of FMD, this applies to all pigs, including pet pigs and pigs owned by hobby farmers. Penalties for swill feeding include fines and imprisonment.

For information on what you can legally feed your pigs, read laws against supplying and feeding swill to pigs.

Also consider...