Feeding of prohibited substances (swill) to pigs in Australia

N. Schembri, M. Hernández-Jover, J. A. Toribio, P. K. Holyoake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To assess current swill feeding legislation, swill feeding investigation practices by authorities and feeding practices of pig producers who trade via saleyards in eastern Australia in order to determine levels of understanding and conformance related to current swill feeding legislation. Method: A three-tiered approach was undertaken to gather information on the feeding of prohibited substances (swill) to pigs in Australia. Firstly, a review of swill feeding legislation was undertaken to highlight the commonalities and inconsistencies between the various state and territory legislations in defining swill. Secondly, agricultural authorities were contacted in each state to gather information on swill feeding investigations undertaken in 2006. Finally, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 106 pig producers who traded pigs at one of six saleyards in eastern Australia to ascertain their knowledge of swill feeding and to determine the feeding practices of this sector of the industry. Results: Areas of concern identified included (1) inconsistencies in the feedstuffs classed as 'swill' among states, (2) the number of producers who had been prosecuted for swill feeding in 2006 (n = 4 of 148 inspections), (3) the low knowledge base of producers who sell pigs at saleyards regarding swill feeding, and (4) the types of feedstuffs provided to pigs marketed at saleyards. Conclusion: Our findings highlight the need for a consistent definition for 'swill' across Australian states and for improved awareness of swill feeding among producers, particularly those who market pigs at saleyards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


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