Ag Tech

Pig PICs are important for sheep and cattle too….

Sheep Central, December 9, 2019

AGRICULTURE Victoria is reminding pig owners that every property with livestock is legally required to have a Property Identification Code or PIC.

The campaign ‘Get your pig a PIC’ is live now and is aimed at people who might have a pet pig, or a small herd, through advertising on traditional and social media.

Swill feeding of pigs is a risk factor in the advent of foot-and-mouth disease entering Australia, which would also impact sheep, cattle and grazing livestock. Undeclared meat samples brought into Australia have tested positive for African Swine Fever and FMD.

Victoria’s acting chief veterinary officer Cameron Bell said PICs were a key part of Victoria’s biosecurity system.

“It doesn’t matter whether you have one pig or hundreds of pigs, it’s important that everyone with livestock has a PIC.

“PICs are used for locating properties to provide advice to livestock owners, to help manage animal welfare issues and to assist in the event of emergencies such as fire, flood or an exotic animal disease incursion,” Dr Bell said.

“Victoria is free from many devastating diseases such as African swine fever and foot-and-mouth disease and we can keep it that way through a strong biosecurity system.

“Get a PIC, identify your pigs correctly, register with PigPass and record all pig movements on the PigPass database,” he said.

“Now that summer has arrived and with it the bushfire season, it’s yet another reason to apply for a PIC if you don’t have one already, or make sure your details are up to date.”

Dr Bell said PICs were free and easy to obtain through the Agriculture Victoria website.

“It is also crucial to keep pigs healthy by ensuring they are not fed swill.”

Swill includes meat, butcher’s shop waste, bakery food that contain meat and vegetables that have been served with meat, and imported dairy products.

Dr Bell said swill feeding is illegal in Australia, to help protect our livestock from exotic animal diseases.

“Pigs should be fed commercial pig rations, grain, fruit and vegetables.

“If in doubt, do not feed leftover food to your pigs.”

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