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 food contaminated with FMD virus
  • the feeding of food contaminated with FMD virus to pigs.

Preventing these illegal activities is the best way to prevent an outbreak of FMD in Australia

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.

To help keep Australia FMD-free, 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 and meat products confiscated at Australian airports by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Australian Border Force officials can cancel visas and refuse entry to Australia for serious biosecurity breaches.

Measures such as the use of detector dogs and enhanced screening have also been deployed at Australia’s international mail centres.

You can help keep FMD out of Australia by sharing this information with any international travellers you know and ensuring family and friends know not to send parcels containing items that may pose a biosecurity risk to Australia.

Prohibited feed for pigs (swill)

All Australian states and territories have laws against supplying and feeding prohibited feed to pigs. This applies to all pigs, including pet pigs and pigs owned by hobby farmers. Significant penalties apply for supplying or feeding prohibited feed to pigs.

You can help prevent FMD by informing any pig owners you know about the risks of feeding prohibited feed to pigs. If you suspect that prohibited feed (swill) is being supplied to pig owners, or pigs are being fed prohibited feed (swill), then report it to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.