Australia’s pork farmers face faeces ‘issue’

One expert said duck faeces contaminating pig feed could lead to salmonella poisoning

Free-range pig farmers in Australia face an emerging issue of pig feed becoming contaminated by duck muck, according to a livestock veterinarian.

Dr Kim Nairn, from the Western Australia-based Portec Veterinary Services, warned free-range pig farms could be at risk of duck faeces contaminating pig feed and infecting livestock with salmonella.

Nairn was speaking at an event in Bentley, Australia, organised by the West Australian Pork Producers Association (WAPPA), where 100 delegates gathered to discuss free-range farming – increasingly popular in Australia’s pork industry.

Talking through a range of emerging on-farm health issues, Nairn said unwanted waterbirds, especially ducks, were a problem as their faeces could contaminate feed and infect pigs with salmonella. The risk, he said, was “magnified” by popular free-range and ecoshelter systems that allowed unwanted intruders, such as ducks, easy access to pig feed.


Avian influenza, swine dysentery and mycotoxins from rain and straw, gravest in wet conditions, were other threats mentioned.

Pork CRC CEO Dr Roger Campbell also spoke at the event. The global competitiveness of Australian pork producers was “changing and challenging”, with progress dependent on how much prices fell by and astute management of production costs, WAPPA reported him to have said.

Having recently returned from a trip to Des Moines, US, Campbell noted the six million US sow industry was showing growth across production and packaging, with domestic pork demand increasing more slowly than population growth.

Trends apparent during my visit were continual improvement in reproduction, more judicious use of antibiotics, largely being driven by veterinarians and piggery disease loads remaining high for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, swine influenza virus and, to a lesser extent, porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus,” he said.

Deb Kerr, general manager of policy with Australian Pork Limited, said Australia’s pork production increased by 14% year-on-year in January 2017. Over AU$950,000 has been committed to market the versatility of Australian pork domestically and promotion campaigns are set to start in April.

Related News

Australia is looking to beef up its meaty lexicon

Australia to modernise ‘meat language’

Australia is on its (quad) bike to grow red meat sales in Britain as Brexit threatens trade

Export drive as Australia tests fragile UK politics

Demand for cheap pork ribs is rising in Australia's foodservice industry

Imported pre-cooked pork belly hits Australian producers

Pork CRC-supported Ryan Chen graduated with a PHD from Flinders University

Algae may help reduce emissions on pig farms

Rebekha Sharkie has called for tightened controls on 'substandard' meat

Politician wants protection for Australian beef

New biosecurity rules have been crafted to safeguard profitability

Australian cattlemen face up to new disease rules

The investment will create 30 new jobs and safeguard an existing 300

Australian abattoir expansion creates 30 jobs

The current mob-based visual tag system is deemed unfit for purpose

Electronic tags spark change in Australian sheep sector

Australian cattle prices are not predicted to fall below the pre-2013 levels

Cost of Australian red meat set to fall

From left to right: Charles Rikard-Bell, Tom La, Nyree Phillips and David Hampson

Australian pig body boasts of income-driving product range

Hilton Food Group said volume sales more than doubled in Australia

Australian volumes help drive Hilton Food profit

Mexico's temporary relaxation of beef import duty could be a big opportunity for exporters

Mexico eases beef trade tax

Two-thirds of the goat meat Australia exports go to the US

Australia goat prices move from ‘strength-to-strength’

Objective carcase measurement provides data on meat yield, bone and fat

Meat factory X-ray technology study launched in Australia

Related Products

See more related products

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.