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The History of the BPA:
The Pedigree Association is Reborn

Pedigree breeders took control of their Association again after several years of dominance by commercial interests. During this period four new imported breeds had joined the native breeds already recorded. These were the Chester White, Duroc and Hampshire from North America and the Pietrain from Europe. Of the three American breeds only two were able to find a place in the UK production system; the Duroc and to a lesser extent the Hampshire. The Chester White is no longer bred in this country. The Pietrain has also established itself in a small niche for crossbreeding.

So today the BPA represents a dozen breeds classified into two committees. The Modern breeds committee and the Traditional breeds committee. The Modern breeds are: Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace, Large White, Pietrain and Welsh and the aim of the Modern Breeds committee is to promote and develop the role of pedigree pigs in mainstream commercial pork production both within the UK and overseas. The Traditional breeds are: Berkshire, British Saddleback, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Large Black, Middle White and Tamworth and the aim of the Traditional Breeds committee is to ensure the survival of Britain’s traditional breeds through the development of niche markets and the implementation of conservation programmes.

Pedigree breeders have always been committed to passing on their knowledge to the next generation. This tradition, which once meant learning the points systems for judging different breeds, continues in a thoroughly modern way today. The latest generation of pedigree breeders make use of the latest computerised selection methods whilst still striving to produce practical pigs that will work well on farm.

 

A high index Duroc boar

This champion gilt at the Toronto show was imported to Britain

One of the early Pietrain imports for distribution

 

TOP:A high index Duroc boar. MIDDLE: This champion gilt at the Toronto show was imported to Britain. BOTTOM: One of the early Pietrain imports for distribution.

New members are being recruited from all parts of the United Kingdom. The British Pig Association remains committed to continued representation of its members from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England both to Westminster and the devolved administrations.

BPA takes a strong role in export promotion of British breeding pigs and genetics and is committed to improved testing regimes to allow continued development of its breeds.
 

Jim Appleton takes his first pig to the show ring   Three generations of the Overend family are involved in pedigree breeding
Jim Appleton takes his first pig to the show ring   Three generations of the Overend family are involved in pedigree breeding

The revival of interest in breed conservation has resulted in new members joining the Association and BPA is working closely with all those who are committed to the preservation of our native breeds and our unique genetic heritage.

No association can survive without young people coming in to build the future. BPA encourages youngsters to compete at shows as the next generation of pedigree breeders.
 

BPA and DEFRA's export team at the World Pork Expo

BPA and DEFRA's export team at the World Pork Expo


Founded in the 19th Century three years before Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and reborn at the dawn of the 21st in time for Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee, the new pedigree association has been forged in the fires of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic and faces the future with renewed vigour.

 
 

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