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Farmers Fined for Feeding Swill

by 5m Editor
20 May 2008, at 5:13pm

AUSTRALIA - Three Forbes district farmers have been fined a total of A$32,980 in Forbes Local Court for swill feeding 620 pigs at three separate properties in the Central West, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.

"This is one of the largest swill feeding busts seen in NSW," Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald, said.

NSW DPI manager of agricultural compliance, Andrew Sanger, said the pigs were being allowed to feed on sheep carcases as well as other dead animal carcasses including pigs and poultry from the Forbes properties.

"The three men involved in the swill feeding racket are brothers Stephen Mark McConnell, Grahame Mark McConnell and William Arthur McConnell," he said.

"They were charged with 14 offences related to feeding prohibited substances to stock and failing to prevent stock from having access to prohibited substances (carcasses)."

The NSW DPI and the local Rural Lands Protection Board investigated the case and brought it before the court as a breach of the Stock Diseases Act.

Dr Sanger said the seriousness of the offences can not be overstated.

"Swill feeding is illegal. Activities like this increase risk of spreading a number of endemic diseases like Anthrax, and have the potential to cause exotic disease outbreaks such as foot and mouth disease," he said.

"Throughout the horse flu outbreak we saw first-hand the devastation exotic disease can cause.

"Diseases associated with swill feeding animals have the potential to cause massive disaster for our livestock industries through loss of export markets, lost production and large-scale animal health and welfare issues."

The men were fined A$19,000 and ordered to pay court costs of A$13,980.

5m Editor