Industry Focus


Australian agriculture benefits enormously from its freedom from the more devastating epidemic diseases that plague livestock industries in other parts of the world. The introduction of exotic diseases could cause serious production losses to Australia’s livestock industries, jeopardise export markets for livestock products and/or have serious public health implications.

Resources to help you protect your farm from ASF

APL has developed and compiled a range of useful resources and information updates to help you protect your farm from African swine fever (ASF).

Access the ASF resources

APL Biosecurity Update

With the increasing threat of African swine fever (ASF), APL would like to ensure all producers are receiving information about the efforts to keep ASF out of Australia, and have the tools to increase their own biosecurity preparedness, not just members. As such, APL’s Biosecurity Update is a special addition to our publications schedule and has been distributed to all pig producers.

Biosecurity Update Issue 1

Biosecurity Update Issue 2

Emergency Animal Disease Preparedness

It is therefore essential that effective contingency plans and trained personnel are available to counter any diseases that penetrate our quarantine barriers. The Australian Veterinary Emergency Plan (AUSVETPLAN) is a coordinated national response plan for the control and eradication of high impact animal diseases.

APL is party to the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA). This deed splits financial responsibilities in the event of a disease outbreak between impacted industries and the government.

The main emergency animal diseases (EADs) that could affect the pig industry are:

For more information on emergency response arrangements for Australia’s livestock industries visit Animal Health Australia’s website.

Download the Emergency Animal Disease Signs poster

Preparing your business to survive an emergency animal disease outbreak: A 30 minute Plan for Piggeries

If emergency animal diseases (EAD’s) such as ASF, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome (PRRS) manage to find their way into Australian, they would have a serious impact on the Australian pork industry supply chain from farm to abattoir. An EAD could result in an immediate reduction in export markets and restrictions on livestock movements, and (in the case of an FMD outbreak) a national livestock ‘standstill’ for a period of time. Infected or at-risk properties may also require livestock to be culled to help stop the disease from spreading.

Would your business survive?

This planning tool will assist you to develop an EAD survival plan. Thirty minutes spent completing this plan could improve the resilience of your business if an EAD occurs. You may
even discover some useful ideas for improving the every-day operation of your business.

Download the 30 minute Plan for Piggeries

How safe is your feed?

We know that African swine fever can survive in feed. The US National Pork Board has outlined some key discussion points to consider when assessing supplier and feed ingredient safety.

Download the feed ingredient safety decision tree and discussion points

Please work closely with your veterinarian and feed suppliers to ensure you make the right decisions to reduce the risks around African swine fever entering your farm via contaminated feed.

For more information, contact Lechelle van Breda on 0447 099 397.

Strengthening emphasis on internal biosecurity

Key learnings from the African swine fever (ASF) simulation Exercise Rapid Strike, conducted in SA by PIRSA Biosecurity in May

In tandem with the Department of Agriculture’s focus on border biosecurity, compliance activities and assuring Australia’s appropriate level of protection to defend Australia from African swine fever, preparedness activities by industry and state jurisdictions are critical.

The three-day field simulation Exercise Rapid Strike (ERS2) tested and developed South Australia’s local capability and capacity in meeting biosecurity roles and responsibilities in response to an African swine fever incursion in its jurisdiction. The simulation involved infected farms and an abattoir (Infected Premises) classified to be within Restricted Areas. Specialist industry representatives were involved to develop common operating procedures and to inform tracing, planning and product recalls. Allied emergency agencies (e.g. police) attended to be briefed on how their services would be required.

There were several suggestions that should be considered jointly by industry and jurisdictions to make some improvements to preparedness and these are summarised in the fact sheet linked below.

Please consider discussing this with your veterinarian, or if you would like further information please contact Dr Lechelle van Breda – R&I Manager, Production Stewardship.

Download the Fact Sheet

New biosecurity resources for visitors to your farm

Ensure your farm visitors are aware of the risks around African swine fever (ASF) and the biosecurity measures they need to take to keep your pigs safe. APL and the Department of Agriculture have developed some posters and a pamphlet to assist with biosecurity and ASF awareness. We encourage you to print them out and make them available to your visitors and staff.

Download the A4 pamphlet

Download the A4 poster

Download the A3 poster

Farm Biosecurity

Farm biosecurity focuses on practices producers can implement on farm to keep diseases out. Keeping diseases out is important to pig producers because diseases can:

  • Reduce the productivity of livestock
  • Affect farm incomes
  • Affect animal welfare
  • Reduce the value of farming land
  • Close export markets or reduce the prices Australian producers can get for their exports – with a flow on effect to domestic prices.

For more information on farm biosecurity visit the Farm Biosecurity website at

A number of tools are available to help pig producers with on farm biosecurity.

National Farm Biosecurity Manual for Pork Production

The Australian pork industry has developed a new National Farm Biosecurity Manual for Pork Production. The manual contains information and specific procedures for all pig farmers to follow to help reduce the risk of disease entering a property, spreading through livestock and/or being passed to surrounding livestock operations.

Download a copy of the National Farm Biosecurity Manual for Pork Production.

Herd Health Program Checklist

The Herd Health Program has been developed to assist pig producers in meeting their obligation to have a Herd Health Plan to meet the Standard 5.2.7 of the Model Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals (Pigs). The Herd Health Program helps you identify potential health and biosecurity risks to pigs and specifies action to prevent or minimise those risks. The Checklist has been designed by the Australian Pig Veterinarians, a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), and has been endorsed by the AVA and Australian Pork Limited (APL).

If you want to develop a Herd Health Plan you can find a template on the Victorian Department of Primary Industries website.

Herd Health Fact Sheets are provided to support the Herd Health Program Checklist. You can view the Herd Health Factsheets in the Fact Sheets section of this website.

Swill Feeding is Illegal!

Did you know swill feeding is illegal?

Do not feed meat, meat products or anything that has been in contact with meat to pigs.

Swill is the traditional name for food scraps or food waste that contains or has come into contact with meat or meat products. Swill is a “Prohibited Pig Feed” which means it is illegal to feed it to pigs in all states and territories. This is because swill can carry exotic diseases that could devastate our livestock industries.

Feeding food scraps, bakery waste, restaurant waste and untreated used cooking oils to pigs is not allowed. These rules apply to all pigs including pet pigs and pigs kept on your property for your own consumption.

To be on the safe side look for quality assured feed and ask your feed supplier for a vendor declaration. If you are unsure what you can and can’t feed your pigs, ask your State Department of Primary Industries (DPI) for guidance.

APL’s ‘Swill feeding – it’s illegal’ fact sheet

Australian Pork Limited’s ‘Safe Use of Fats and Oils in Pig Feed’ fact sheet

If you notice any unusual symptoms in your pigs that you think could be an emergency animal disease, be on the safe side and report it immediately to: Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Evidence of Absence Surveillance Project

Australia’s pork trading partners regularly inquire on the disease status of the Australian pig herd. This APL funded project, being conducted by Animal Health Australia (AHA), aims to obtain surveillance evidence to both ensure that unnecessary import conditions are not applied to Australian pork exports and Australian import restriction agreements in place for pork (conditions applied to imported products) are science based.

Guidelines for Participating Pig Veterinarians have been developed for this project providing information for sample collection, management of results and use of data arising from this study. Each pig veterinarian is requested to identify a small number of cases with syndromes of interest and collect samples for testing by your state government animal health laboratory. It is requested that veterinarians advise producers that samples from their pig herd are being sent to the relevant state government laboratory for exotic disease exclusion testing to validate ‘proof of freedom’.

Guidelines for Participating Pig Veterinarians

To be on the safe side look for quality assured feed and ask your feed supplier for a vendor declaration. If you are unsure what you can and can’t feed your pigs, ask your State Department of Primary Industries (DPI) for guidance.

APL’s ‘Swill feeding – it’s illegal’ fact sheet

Australian Pork Limited’s ‘Safe Use of Fats and Oils in Pig Feed’ fact sheet

If you notice any unusual symptoms in your pigs that you think could be an emergency animal disease, be on the safe side and report it immediately to: Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Rodenticide Stewardship Plan

An effective disease barrier system cannot be achieved or maintained without good rodent control. Rodents and other wildlife can spread or accelerate the spread of diseases from contaminated areas to uncontaminated areas via their droppings, feet, fur, urine, saliva, or blood. They can play an important role in the transmission of pig diseases such leptospirosis, salmonellosis, swine dysentery, erysipelas, intestinal spirochaetosis and toxoplasmosis. These diseases can compromise the health and growth of pigs, and may also affect people working in close proximity with the animals.

Rodents are also responsible for a vast amount of damage, through their gnawing and burrowing to wiring and shed infrastructure (increasing fire risk). Rodents also can attract predators which may contribute to disease problems.

Sound on farm rodent control management is only achieved through an integrated approach made up of Prevention & Hygiene, Monitoring, Non-chemical solutions and Baiting.

The Rodenticide Stewardship plan provides the information producers need to ensure they have an effective rodent control system and can uphold food safety and on farm best practice standards.

Download the Rodenticide Stewardship Plan