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Poster for pig swill for auction sale, London, 1877

Swill is food for animals in liquid or partly liquid form.[1]

The term can also be used as an extremely derogatory label for any drink meant for human ingestion perceived as unpalatable or nearly so.

Pig swill[edit]

Pig swill, hog swill, hogwash is kitchen refuse used to feed pigs.[2]

Historically pig farmers arranged collection of swill, e.g. by means of swill bins. The grease was skimmed off the swill tanks and sold for further processing, while the remaining swill was processed into pig food.

During World War II collection of pig swill was a nationwide campaign in Great Britain.[3]

During the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak it was thought that unprocessed pig swill was a key link in the chain of the infection, and it was banned in Great Britain. In 2003 the ban was expanded to the whole European Union.[4]

There is now significant research ([5]) and support from farmers ([6] for a return to feeding swill to pigs, not only as a way to reduce pig feed costs but also to reduce demands on agricultural land for pig feed.

See also[edit]