With just three months before the festival season, pig owners are reminded that every property where a pig lives needs a Property Identification Code (PIC), whether it’s a large or small herd, pet pig or a pig being fattened for holiday feasts.

PICs are free and easy to get through Agriculture Victoria and compulsory for all properties with livestock.

Victoria’s Acting Chief Veterinary Officer Cameron Bell said PICs were used for locating properties which have livestock in the event of emergencies such as fire or an outbreak of animal disease

PICs are also used for tracing and controlling disease and residue problems that may be detected after livestock leave the farm.

Dr Bell said PICs were a key part of Victoria’s biosecurity system.

“Victoria is free of devastating diseases such as African swine fever and foot and mouth disease and we can keep it that way through a strong biosecurity system,” Dr Bell said.

“Protect your pigs and Victoria’s livestock industries by playing your role in our biosecurity system.

“Get a PIC, identify your pigs correctly, register with PigPass and record all pig movements on the PigPass NLIS database.”

Dr Bell said it was crucial to not feed swill to pigs to ensure Victoria stayed free from exotic diseases. Swill includes food scraps with meat, butcher’s shop waste, bakery food that contain meat and vegetables that have been served with meat, and imported dairy products.

“Swill feeding is banned in Australia, to help protect our livestock from exotic animal diseases.

“Pig food should be fed certified pig rations, grain, fruit and vegetables. If in doubt, do not feed leftover food to your pigs.”

He said people should always declare meat products entering Australia from overseas, whether purchasing them during travels or through the mail.

“Imported meat products fed to pigs is one way that African swine fever could be introduced into Australia, with the disease currently present in our region including in China, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines,” Dr Bell said.

Remember, before you deck the halls, get your pig a PIC.

Visit agriculture.vic.gov.au/pic or call 136 186.