The Tide Begins to Turn
By 1973 the decline of all the
traditional breeds, Berkshire, British Saddleback, Gloucestershire
Old Spots, Large Black, Middle White and Tamworth was almost
complete. Breeding populations had fallen to dangerously low levels.
They were at best curiosities to be displayed at county shows. Only
a handful of die-hard breeders represented by the Minor Breeds
Committee of the BPA struggled to maintain the dwindling populations
with little or no help from outside. A turning point was reached
with the establishment of the
Rare Breeds Survival Trust in 1973.
The need to conserve all of Britainís unique genetic heritage was
recognised and gradually the decline of the traditional pedigree
breeds was arrested.
For a while this was thought to be a sufficient goal
in its own right but increasing public awareness of the need for
conservation and a sea change in consumers attitudes to mass
produced food began to offer new opportunities for the Traditional
Breeds to return to the market place.