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Agriculture Victoria urges travellers to clean up food scraps

By Rodney Woods

Whether you are travelling down the Great Ocean Road to the Otways, throwing a line in the Murray River or hiking at Wilsons Promontory, remember to dispose of food scraps responsibly these holidays.

Victoria’s acting chief veterinary officer Sally Salmon has reminded all Victorians to ensure they think about how they dispose of food scraps when travelling due to the threat of African swine fever.

“If you are camping, hiking, picnicking or just enjoying the great outdoors, please dispose of your food scraps responsibly,” Dr Salmon said.

“If animals such as feral pigs can access and eat the food scraps, it could introduce an emergency animal disease into Australia and could devastate our livestock industries.

“African swine fever has spread rapidly around the world in the past year and was recently confirmed in neighbouring country Indonesia.

“We’re asking everyone to do their bit to keep it out of Australia.”

Dr Salmon said feral or domestic pigs eating contaminated meat scraps was one of the most likely ways exotic diseases could arise Australia.

“Feeding food scraps, sometimes called ‘swill’, to pigs is illegal in Australia, for this reason” Dr Salmon said.

“Swill is food waste containing meat, meat products, food that has been served on the same plate as meat, or imported dairy products.”

Find out more about African swine fever at: www.agriculture.vic.gov.au/africanswinefever

To make a disease report, call the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.