Community & Lifestyle

Holiday makers warned on exotic disease outbreak potential of food scraps

Sheep Central, April 18, 2019

Campers are being urged to dispose of food waste carefully over the Easter break. Image – Parks Victoria.

HOLIDAY makers have been reminded to dispose of food scraps carefully over the Easter break to minimise any potential for the introduction and spread of an exotic animal disease in Australia.

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne

Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer has issued to the state’s residents heading outdoors over the Easter break a warning applicable to campers, outdoor adventurers and picnic goers nationally.

“If wild or domestic pigs consume food scraps, it has the potential to introduce exotic animal diseases to Australia,” Dr Charles Milne said.

Agriculture Victoria said Australia was sent a warning earlier this year when pork products seized at the national border tested positive for African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease virus particles.

“It’s not enough to rely on biosecurity inspections to stop potential pests and disease threats at the border,” Dr Milne said.

“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility and we all need to help protect our agriculture, our economy and our unique natural environment.”

Dr Milne said the act of feeding (intentionally or not intentionally) infected meat scraps to pigs was one of the most likely ways an exotic disease could be introduced to Australia.

“It is illegal to feed pigs waste food, meat, or animal product infected food, in Australia,” he said.

“This is a consideration not just for pig farmers or pet pig owners, but everyone when they’re in an environment where wild or domestic pigs can access their food scraps.”

Find out more about notifiable animal diseases at

To make a disease report, call the all-hours Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.


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