FMD threat drives Texas swine diet law


Austin, Texas - With the imminent threat of foot-and-mouth disease invading our borders, Texas legislators have voted it's time swine get a new diet.

Austin, Texas - With the imminent threat of foot-and-mouth diseaseinvading our borders, Texas legislators have voted it's time swine get anew diet.

Pigs might as well be vegetarians, with a new law that would prohibitfeeding swine any wastefood that may contain meat or any type of meat scraps.The law, in effect Sept. 1, targets those pigs that are currently fed wastefood.

"This new law not only affects swine producers in Texas who feedwastefood containing meat and meat scraps, but it will also change the wayfood processors, restaurants, schools, hospitals and other establishmentsdispose of food scraps, if they have allowed them to be picked up for wastefoodfeeding," says Dr. Linda Logan, Texas state veterinarian and head ofthe Texas Animal Health Commission.

The pig's new daily regimen, says Logan, can include any combinationof fruits, vegetables, dairy products and bakery goods.

"The state legislature's move to ban meat and meat scraps for swinefeeding stemmed from the global spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD),the world's most costly and highly contagious livestock disease," saysLogan.

"The virus is most often introduced into a country by imported infectedanimals or in uncooked meat products derived from infected animals."

In early August, the TAHC had more than 600 swine producers registeredto feed wastefood. Of these, nearly 70 percent feed wastefood containingmeat or meat scraps.

On August 22, the 12 governor-appointed TAHC commissioners will proposerevised wastefood feeding regulations that conform to the new Texas law.

The regulations will include the following long-standing provisions:

1.TAHC may require testing of all swine for livestock diseases priorto issuing producers a permit to feed wastefood to swine.

2.Annual surveys will be conducted by a TAHC or USDA representative todetermine disease risk on each registered location.

3.Feral (wild) swine may not be fed at registered wastefood feeding locations.

For more information about wastefood feeding requirements, contact theTexas Animal Health Commission at (800) 550-8242.

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