The National Feral Pig Action Plan

Feral pigs as a reservoir of disease

Feral pigs can introduce, reintroduce and maintain endemic, emerging animal diseases (EAD’s) that can affect livestock, wildlife, plants and humans. Feral pigs can harbour and transmit over 30 exotic, endemic and zoonotic pathogens of significance as well as over 30 different types of parasites. 

 

 

 Feral pigs are more likely to contract an exotic disease, including FMD and ASF, by eating uncooked food scraps or food waste that contains meat or which has been in contact with meat. This is known as swill feeding.  It is illegal in all states and territories in Australia to feed meat and meat products to any type of pig including feral pigs.

A new factsheet on swill feeding and feral pigs has been developed – click here.

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) updates

This page and our FMD factsheet will be continuously refreshed as we get more details to give you the most relevant, up-to-date information.

FMD is an acute, highly contagious viral disease that affects cloven hooved wild and domestic animals, including cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, camels, and deer.

Australia is free from FMD.

In May 2022, FMD was confirmed in Indonesia. It is currently found in many parts of the world, including Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.

Contact the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 to report any animals behaving abnormally, or with clinical signs of FMD.

Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) updates

This page and our JEV factsheet will be continuously refreshed as we get more details to give you the most relevant, up-to-date information.

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) has recently been confirmed in domestic pigs and humans in eastern Australia. JEV is a mosquito-borne viral disease that can cause reproductive losses and encephalitis in susceptible species. It is a nationally notifiable disease in both humans and animals and has been declared a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance by the Australian Government Department of Health.

As of 14 June 2022, 30 human cases have been confirmed in Australia (Queensland (2), NSW (13), South Australia (5) and Victoria (10). There have also been 5 confirmed deaths (Victoria, SA, QLD and NSW).

JEV has been detected in 44 feral pigs in this outbreak in the NT. It is important to note that both feral and domestic pigs can amplify the virus which can then be transmitted by infected mosquitos to humans from pigs.

Anyone experiencing JEV symptoms should seek urgent medical attention.

If you see any feral pigs behaving abnormally or with symptoms of JEV, contact your local veterinarian or call the national Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888 to report it.