Prevent African swine fever in our pigs
The world is currently grappling with the largest ever outbreak of African swine fever, a highly contagious virus that causes a death rate of 80% in pigs. There is no vaccine or cure for this pig disease. To date the disease has been reported in around 50 countries in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa and has now reached Australia’s near neighbours, Indonesia and Timor-Leste.
People can’t contract the virus, but they can spread the disease by leaving human food where pigs can access it.
In this way, African swine fever could be introduced into WA’s feral pig population. If the disease became established in feral pigs:
- It would be extremely difficult to eradicate.
- It could spread to farmed and pet pigs.
- It could impact other agricultural sectors and market access.
To prevent this happening, it’s essential that feral pigs cannot access human food or food scraps.
Feral pigs are present in many areas of regional Western Australia and often live in areas where people engage in outdoor recreational activities.
All people who spend time in bush settings are urged not to leave any food scraps behind, and ensure feral pigs can’t access their food supplies.
How you can help
Steps people can take include:
- Keep food and food scraps out of reach of feral animals when camping – put rubbish bags in a sealed container or inside a vehicle when away from the campsite.
- Put food in secure bins where provided, or take scraps home with you in areas where bins are not provided.
- Take a bag or container to keep food scraps and rubbish in when planning a hike or bushwalk.
- Don’t bury food scraps or leave them for native animals to eat.
Report sick pigs
It’s also important that people report any dead or sick feral pigs by calling the Emergency Animal Disease hotline immediately on 1800 675 888. Your quick action could prevent the disease from spreading if it does enter Australia.