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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.



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