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.

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.

2018 African swine fever outbreak in China and Belgium

For more information on the detection of African swine fever in China and Belgium and actions being taken by authorities, visit

Video provided by the European Food Safety Authority.

More information on African swine fever:

APL webinar – African swine fever and feed ingredients biosecurity

Presented by Dr Eric Neumann
5 November 2018.

Dr Eric Neumann is a pig veterinarian and epidemiologist from New Zealand. He presents an update on the recent spread of African swine fever in China and Europe and discusses feed ingredients as potential vectors of disease.

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 at

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.