THE Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is reminding importers, distributors and manufacturers that they must have approval from the department to use imported plant and animal-derived ingredients in the manufacture of animal feeds.

Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Mark Schipp is encouraging those who manufacture animal feed products to contact their supplier or trader to confirm that each imported biological ingredient is approved.

“Feeding imported human food ingredients to Australian animals could introduce serious animal diseases, like foot and mouth disease or African swine fever if the goods have not been assessed and approved for this high risk end use,” Dr Schipp said.

“Diseases such as African swine fever, would be devastating for Australia’s $1.2 billion pork industry, as well as threaten our trade, environment and economy if there were an outbreak in Australia.”

Dr Schipp said waste and by-products from domestic manufacturing processes also present a significant biosecurity risk if they contain biological materials and are fed to Australian animals.

“If you distribute imported ingredients you should inform buyers of any end use restrictions and provide copies of relevant import permits,” he said.

“Biosecurity is everyone’s responsibility and we must all be biosecurity aware.”