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Australia : New swill feeding law to protect livestock industry.

The Victorian Coalition Government has introduced legislation to further protect the state's pig and wider livestock industries from swill feeding, which poses a potential biosecurity threat.

Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said the Primary Industries Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 introduced to Parliament today included changes to the Livestock Disease Control Act 1994 to strengthen penalties for the feeding of swill or food scraps that contain animal products.

"These changes will create a new offence for businesses such as restaurants or garbage disposal services that have been found to be supplying swill for feeding pigs, with a fine of up to $53,139," Mr Walsh said.

"This is in addition to existing swill feeding penalties of up to $17,713 for farmers.

"Swill feeding has the potential to cause an outbreak of exotic disease like foot and mouth disease, which could cost the Australian economy up to $50 billion in the event of a large-scale outbreak.

"The Matthews Report commissioned by the Commonwealth Government stated that the feeding of swill would actually be the most likely cause of entry of food and mouth disease into Australia.

"That is why the Victorian Coalition Government takes this issue extremely seriously and is committed to ensuring the protection of our state's livestock industries.

"The Department of Environment and Primary Industries investigates cases of potential swill feeding and has successfully prosecuted through the courts."

Mr Walsh said as well as the added offence for businesses, the Coalition Government was also undertaking a number of measures to raise awareness within the industry.

"Letters have been sent to all past and current pig producers to remind them that swill feeding is an offence, while those new to the industry will receive a whole package of information," Mr Walsh said.

"A draft Pig Biosecurity Standard addressing swill feeding and other biosecurity issues has also been developed and provided to industry for comment, which will strengthen these measures even further."

2014 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com) Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. ( Syndigate.info ).

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Aug 21, 2014
Words:335
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