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Largest ever shipment of rare breed pigs goes to Bhutan

by 5m Editor
14 October 2003, at 12:00am

UK - Seventy-two British Saddleback and Large Black pigs are on their way to Bhutan, the isolated mountain kingdom in the Himalayas. The shipment, which also includes ten Durocs is being paid for by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.

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It will form the nucleus of a pig breeding programme to provide improved breeding stock for local small farmers. Coloured pigs are favoured throughout this part of the world.

The shipment is the culmination of more than 12 months' work by the British Pig Association to put together a foundation breeding herd for export.

Dr Rex Walters, BPA consultant geneticist, has been involved in organising the pigs into unrelated breeding families. With the small sow populations of these breeds it has not been easy to find enough unrelated lines. The British Saddleback and Large Black breeds are both listed as rare breeds with less than 500 sows each.

Marcus Bates, Chief Executive of the British Pig Association, said "this is very good news for these breeds as some of the money from this shipment will be used for breed conservation projects here in the UK such as our Traditional Breeds AI Scheme."

Source: National Pig Association - 13th October 2003

5m Editor