Pig producers in Australia need to demonstrate due diligence by taking every practical step to minimise the impact of their operations on the environment. Environmental regulations vary between states, and generic guidelines used by government agencies are not always applicable to the environmental management of piggeries.

This page will help you understand your requirements for planning and management.

Rotational outdoor piggeries and the environment

Planning and design

Anyone keeping pigs in Australia needs local council approval if they have more than just pet pigs. As requirements vary between states, anyone looking to start a new piggery or expand an existing one should contact their local council, check their state Department of Agriculture requirements, and contact EPA for approval before undertaking any significant work.

The following resources can help you select and design a good site for your rotational outdoor piggery.

National environmental guidelines for rotational outdoor piggeries (NEGROP)

To operate an environmentally sustainable piggery, it needs to be sited, sized, designed, constructed, managed and operated in a way that ensures all aspects of the environment are protected. This includes protection of community amenity, soils, surface waters, ground water, biodiversity and cultural heritage.

Piggery businesses which follow the NEGROP can provide evidence they are committed to pig production in an environmentally sustainable manner, protecting their business and future production.

Soil management

Soil testing is integral to operating an environmentally sustainable rotational outdoor piggery.

Nutrient management

Nutrients can accumulate quickly in rotational outdoor piggeries. Without active management, manure nutrients are not evenly spread over the paddocks, which can quickly result in unsustainable levels over the areas between the shelters and the feeding, watering and wallowing areas. This poses an increased risk of soil degradation and nutrient transfer to any nearby surface waters and groundwater. It also provides a challenge for future crop production on that land.

The nutrient balance calculator is an easy-to-use tool that assists piggery operators to sustainably manage paddock rotations for outdoor piggeries. The calculator helps farmers better understand the quantities of nutrients deposited, and how to utilise these effectively in cropping systems.

Land and water protection

Adopting good land protection measures helps to preserve or enhance the productive qualities of the soil and prevent off-site impacts.

Environmental risk assessment

These comprehensive management tools will help you identify potential areas of environmental risk or vulnerability.