News

Pig identification crucial for biosecurity

By Country News

Agriculture Victoria has urged people who own a pet pig or small herd to get a Property Identification Code as soon as possible to protect the state's biosecurity.

Victoria’s acting chief veterinary officer Cameron Bell said everyone with livestock needed 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.”

Pigs can be registered with PigPass, a national tracking system which provides real time information on the movements of all pigs in Australia, to identify and prevent the spread of disease.

“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.

He 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 contains meat and vegetables that have been served with meat, and imported dairy products.

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

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

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

For more information, visit: agriculture.vic.gov.au/PIC or phone 136 186.