By: Sandy Manche
In Kentucky, “feeding garbage to swine” is prohibited, even if the garbage has been treated.[i] Additionally, garbage fed swine cannot be imported into the state.[ii] Across the Kentucky border in Indiana, a bill was introduced in the House that may amend Indiana law to allow treated garbage to be fed to swine.[iii] Nevertheless, this proposed law does not permit all garbage to be fed to swine. The definition of “garbage” in Indiana is very specific, and is limited to “any waste material derived in whole or in part from any animal, including fish and poultry.[iv] “Garbage” could also be refuse from the handling, preparation, cooking, or consumption of food that has been associated with waste material derived in whole or in part from any animal, including fish and poultry.”[v] This proposed law would allow discarded food to be treated and fed to swine, rather than sent to a landfill, enabling food recycling. “Food leftovers are the single-largest component of the waste stream by weight in the United States—Americans throw away about 96 billion pounds of food each year,”[vi] and restaurants, hotels, and school cafeterias contribute to this waste.
The federal “Swine Health Protection Act” allows the feeding of treated garbage to swine,[vii] but this Act does not “repeal or supersede State laws that prohibit [the] feeding of garbage to swine.”[viii] Nearly half of the U.S. hog inventory is in North Carolina and Iowa.[ix] North Carolina allows garbage, which has been “heated to at least 212 degrees F for at least 30 minutes” or “treated in some other manner . . . approved in writing by the North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture,”[x] to be fed to swine, but requires a permit be obtained from the North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture.[xi] In contrast, Iowa’s statute states “[a] person shall not feed public or commercial garbage to swine.[xii] The Indiana Bill passed both the House and Senate.[xiii]
[i] 302 Ky. Admin. Regs. 20:100 (2015).
[ii] 302 Ky. Admin. Regs. 20:040 (2015).
[iii] H.B. 1170, 1st Sess., at 3 (Ind. 2015), available at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1170#document-4d5a2fa5.
[iv] Ind. Code § 15-17-2-34 (2015).
[vi] Yard Trimmings/Food Scraps, SolidWasteDistrict, available at
[vii] 9 C.F.R. § 166.2 (2015).
[ix] Ron Plain, State of the Pork Industry, (2011), available at http://nationalhogfarmer.com/site-files/nationalhogfarmer.com/files/archive/nationalhogfarmer.com/images/NHF_SOIReport__2011.pdf.
[x] N.C. Gen. Stat. § 106-405.6 (2015).
[xi] N.C. Gen. Stat. § 106-405.2 (2015).
[xii] Iowa Code § 163.27 (2015).
[xiii]H.B. 1170, 1st Sess., at 3 (Ind. 2015), available at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2015/bills/house/1170#document-4d5a2fa5.