Pigs can eat many things, but that does not mean they should. Alberta Pork strongly disapproves the use of any human food scraps as pig feed. By feeding scraps, it is quite possible you are breaking the law, not to mention jeopardizing the integrity of our annual $24 billion Canadian pork industry.
In Canada, it is illegal to feed meat to pigs, including pet foods that contain animal by-products. And while certain plant-based products from the human food chain are legal to feed, this practice can be equally dangerous. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for regulating Recycled Food Products (RFPs).
Serious discretion is required when it comes to animal care and food safety. Failure to consider feed choices could have a very negative impact on pig and human health that goes well beyond the farm. When you feed scraps, there is no way to accurately tell what kind of diet you are feeding to your pigs, which can result in unpleasant surprises.
Where human food waste is created, especially in high-traffic areas for people or pork, there is an acute potential for cross-contamination. This includes spreading diseases like African Swine Fever (ASF) and others to pigs, while zoonotic diseases, transmitted from animals to humans, are also a risk. Just as movements of humans and animals from farm-to-farm can spread viruses, so can movements of food scraps from kitchen or warehouse to barn.
In Alberta, we have an abundance of safe, healthy, affordable pig feed. In some jurisdictions globally where suitable feed is unavailable, it is acceptable practice for producers to purchase kitchen, restaurant or grocery scraps from local or even far-away (shipped in) establishments, with the intention of feeding these scraps to their herds.
Balanced diets are important in pork production. Properly designed pig diets can include a range of plant-based sources according to producer desires, cost and regionally availability. Feeding pigs diets that are consistent with industry standards and veterinarian recommendations helps ensure your product is high-quality and safe for consumers.
If you have any questions or concerns, contact Javier Bahamon, Quality Assurance and Production Manager, Alberta Pork by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 780-469-8982, toll-free at 1-877-247-PORK (7675).