With many Victorians heading outdoors over the Easter break, Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer has asked all campers, outdoor adventurers and picnic goers to dispose of the food scraps carefully.
“If wild or domestic pigs consume food scraps, it has the potential to introduce exotic animal diseases to Australia,” Dr Charles Milne 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 viruses.
“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.”