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Feral pigs found in suburban backyard prompts warning

The discovery of feral pigs in a suburban backyard at Rossmore has prompted a warning from biosecurity experts on the potential risk of buying stock online.

Greater Sydney Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity officer Lee Parker said the pigs had been discovered during a recent swill feeding inspection campaign in Western Sydney.

“This is not the first time we’ve found feral pigs being kept illegally, we have had similar incidents in the Hawkesbury, Londonderry, Penrith and Blue Mountain areas.

“On this particular occasion the property owner had purchased the pigs online. It’s important to know your legal obligations before buying or selling livestock to avoid the risks of spreading diseases which could have a devastating impact on our agricultural industry.

Mr Parker said feral pigs were also known to carry serious diseases which could impact both livestock and human health including Swine brucellosis, Bovine tuberculosis and leptospirosis, a potentially fatal disease to humans.

“There is a very real risk these feral animals could become aggressive and attack you or escape and cause serious destruction to the local environment and offenders risk significant fines and penalties,” he said.

“We are urging people to think before they buy, ensure all purchases are accompanied by a national vendor declaration and seek expert advice before purchasing stock, particularly via online sites.”

Mr Parker urged the community to contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services for advice and assistance on stock purchases and reducing the impact of feral pigs.

“We regularly run coordinated and targeted control campaigns to help control these pests but we can’t be everywhere at once so please report any sightings to our office and if you suspect someone of keeping feral pigs let us know about it,” he said.

“Feral pigs are generally simple to identify, they have longer snouts and musclier frames than normal pigs and are characteristically more aggressive and unpredictable,” he said.

Feral pigs are estimated to cover 45 per cent of the total Australian landscape costing the economy more than $106 million annually.

Contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services, ph. 1300 795 299 for further information.

ENDS

Media contact: Nikki McGrath (02) 4724 2138 M: 0448 953 755