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Official Policy to Focus on a Single Type of Pig

 

In 1955 with the end of rationing and a return to free markets the government became concerned about the international competitiveness of UK pig producers compared with potential sources of imports of pork and bacon. A committee under Sir Harold Howitt was established to advise in what ways pig production would best be developed particularly in regard to general breeding policy.

The committee published its report in October 1955 with far reaching consequences for the future of British pig breeds.

In the first place we have formed the view that one of the main handicaps facing the British pig industry today is the diversity of the type of pig which is found throughout the country. The pig industry will in our view only make real progress when it concentrates on a few main types and  - if it were at any time found possible on a single type of pig for commercial production.

The committee went on to identify three breeds, the Large White, Landrace and Welsh as the foundations of the modern pig industry. It is from these three breeds that we would hope to see developed through intensive progeny testing in the coming years the improved bacon pig which would provide boars for use by nearly all commercial breeders for bacon and pork. The importance and urgency of this task cannot be overstated.

  The Howitt report of 1955 declared that diversity of breeds was the major handicap to the British Pig Industry
 

The Howitt report of 1955 declared that diversity of breeds was the major handicap to the British Pig Industry

 
 

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