Livestock

Keeping pigs

By Country News

People are being reminded of the biosecurity risks associated with pig production, as small landholders are increasingly interested in owning livestock, including pigs.

Producer-led project Stock Sense is running an interactive webinar for those who own, or are interested in owning pigs.

Well-known pig vet Trish Holyoake will be walking through what’s involved with owning pigs from basic husbandry needs to keeping pigs and other livestock safe with effective biosecurity measures.

VFF livestock president Leonard Vallance said it was important for the livestock industry to educate people on the correct management of pigs in order to minimise potential flow-on effects, which may damage other livestock production systems.

‘‘Owning livestock automatically means you are part of the food-supply chain, meaning you have responsibilities and play a role in protecting the Australian livestock industry’s reputable biosecurity status,’’ Mr Vallance said.

‘‘Around the world, pigs kept in less-than-ideal conditions may see people become careless with what they feed their pigs; and swill feeding is identified as a significant biosecurity threat.

‘‘Swill feeding caused the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2007, which saw significant impacts throughout the entire country, well beyond the agricultural industry.

‘‘Therefore, by raising awareness on correct pig management we can protect our country from a similar fate.’’

The webinar, ‘Stock Up: Keeping pigs on small farms’, is free and will be held from 8pm to 9pm on Tuesday, December 11.

Stock Sense helps livestock owners adopt animal health and production practices that improve profitability, animal welfare and Victoria’s biosecurity status.

■For a detailed program and to register visit: www.stocksense.org.au or phone 1300 020 163 or email: [email protected]