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Feeding food waste that might contain meat to your pigs?  You must boil it for an hour first

There is a real risk that infected meat will be smuggled into this country and some of it fed to pigs, very possibly on a lifestyle farm.  So if you have a pig on your farm, please read the following – it’s very important.

food scraps pigs

You must not feed meat, or food waste that has come into contact with meat to pigs unless it has been boiled for an hour to destroy any bacteria or viruses.  This applies to household scraps as well as commercial food waste.

This is not a casual suggestion, it’s an imperative – a moral and legal imperative.

It’s probably true to say that in NZ the pig industry and the livestock industries in general have the best animal health status in the world.  This is a huge marketing advantage and it’s worth not just millions but billions of dollars every year to the national economy.

In many other countries, there are highly infectious diseases like foot and mouth disease.  As you know we have tight border control to prevent the introduction of these diseases in any way, for example in meat and meat products.  But there is still is a real risk of infected meat being smuggled in, and if any of it is fed to pigs, it could trigger a huge and devastating exotic disease outbreak.

The 2001 UK foot and mouth disease outbreak was caused by feeding imported meat to pigs.  The epidemic cost the UK economy millions of pounds and of course it caused farmers immeasurable distress.

Every year, tons of meat is smuggled into NZ, much of it pig meat and no-one knows where it ends up.

It’s very important that you as lifestyle farmers know the risks of feeding meat to pigs and the importance of boiling meat and food scraps.  Please make sure your pig farming friends and neighbours know too.

The Biosecurity (Meat and Food Waste for Pigs) Regulations 2005 require that meat and food waste that has come into contact with meat is heated to 100C for one hour to destroy any bacteria or viruses before it is fed to pigs.  The easiest way to do this is to boil it for an hour.  This applies for household scraps as well as commercial food waste.  Anyone found feeding untreated food to pigs can be fined up to $5,000, or $15,000 for a corporation.

If you would like more information on feeding waste food to pigs or alternatively what you could feed instead contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone New Zealand Pork on 04 917 4750.

lifestyleblock.co.nz would like to thank Pork NZ for its help in compiling this article.

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