African swine fever - biosecurity resources for producers

Page last updated: Thursday, 9 April 2020 - 1:30pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

African swine fever is a highly contagious virus that causes high death rates in pigs. The disease has been spreading across Europe and Asia since a large-scale outbreak in China in August 2018 and is now present in Australia's near neighbours, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. There is no vaccination available and the disease is difficult to eradicate.

Every pig owner has a vital role to play in reducing the risk of this disease occurring in Australia. Below are resources Western Australian pig owners can use to reduce the risk of the disease entering their herd or pet pigs.

1. Pig feed

It is illegal to feed meat, products that contain meat or have had contact with meat and non-Australian dairy to pigs. This is known as prohibited pig feed or swill feeding.

Illegal pig feed can cause a number of serious livestock diseases, including:

Pig owners must ensure:

  • anyone who has contact with their pigs knows what they can and cannot feed them

  • feral pigs cannot access food waste on their property - including from farm dumps.

Read more on the correct pig feed page. (This page also has links to materials for non-English speakers.)

2. Biosecurity

  • Ensure that farm visitors and staff do not have contact with your pigs if they have been overseas in the previous seven days.
  • Ensure feral pigs cannot access domestic pigs or pig facilities through appropriate segregation and fencing.

For detailed biosecurity guides, see:

DPIRD small landholders biosecurity guide:

Animal Health Australia: 

Australian Pork Limited (APL):

Federal Department of Agriculture:

3. Feral pig control

All landowners have a responsibility under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007 to manage declared pests such as feral pigs on their land.

Control methods such as baiting with 1080 and trapping are preferred. These techniques concentrate feral pigs and provide the best opportunities to significantly reduce feral pig abundance in your area.

Hunting and the use of dogs to catch feral pigs should be avoided, as this can cause pigs to disperse or move to other areas, increasing the risk of spreading African swine fever if it occurred in Australia.

For the best options for management on your property, see:

4. Traceability

Make sure you have registered your ownership of pigs with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. Traceability of all pigs during a disease outbreak is crucial to effective disease eradication.

Ensure you include your email address as part of your registration so that we can contact you quickly during an emergency.

For help with registering, see:

5. Report pig disease signs to a vet immediately

If you see signs of disease in your pigs that could be African swine fever, call your vet or the Emergency Animal Disease hotline immediately on 1800 675 888. The faster a disease is reported, the less chance it has to spread, reducing the impacts of eradication.

6. Stay up to date with livestock biosecurity news

The Department publishes a regular e-newsletter on animal health and biosecurity in WA. Stay up-to-date with the latest information. Subscribe to:

Contact information

Sue Skirrow
+61 (0)8 9892 8490