Conservation

The British Pig Association is dedicated to conserving the native breeds.

On Farm Conservation.  The total number of pigs and breeders goes up and down but this is not just a numbers game. With such a small population we have to make sure that our pigs don’t become inbred. We also have to make sure that our pigs are not all in one place in case we get another disease outbreak like Foot and Mouth in 2001. A donation of £250 can help us to move a boar from Yorkshire to Cornwall where he can be used on unrelated sows.

The second part of our Conservation programme is Genebanking. Sadly we can’t freeze pig embryos so we have to focus on storing semen from boars in our genebank. Since 2002 we have been working with the Rare Breed Survival Trust in a very successful partnership. We have a target of 100 boars and so far we have 88 in the tank. It costs over £2500 for each boar and we try to collect 6 each year. Please help us to complete this vital safety net by donating to our programme.

Berkshire

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • All 7 boar lines have been genebanked which was the first target on the conservation plan
  • All Berkshire sow lines are present in at least 5 herds which was another target
  • We still need help to collect 3 more boars for the genebank and to spread the different bloodlines across the country - important to protect the breed from disease risk like African Swine Fever

British Landrace

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • The British Landrace continues to face many challenges and as such promoting this breed must be a priority
  • Declining sow numbers has put several female lines at risk
  • We need to increase the distribution of sows across the country

British Saddleback

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • 28 different sow lines is a challenge but we already we have 20 lines that are kept in at least 5 herds. Last year the Fidra line was moved.
  • With 14 boar lines the breed has more than most. Working with the Breeders Club we now have 12 lines in the genebank.
  • Help us  fund a Guardsman boar for genebanking and increase the geographical spread of the Alvis sow line.

Gloucestershire Old Spots

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • The first breed to reach the Genebank target of 10 boars representing all the lines
  • Sows are well distributed but some lines are dominant. 5 lines represent 50% of the total sows.
  • One third of the sow lines have seen numbers plummet and need support.

Large Black

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • Thanks to the Breeders Club we only need one more boar for the Genebank
  • Maintaining 23 sow lines is a big challenge but a successful programme with the Club helped move the Gold Vase line.
  • We need support to complete phase 1 of the Genebank and to move the Bess line into other parts of the country.

Large White

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • One of the founding breeds back in 1884 and one of Britain’s greatest gifts to the world - the breed has fallen on hard times.
  • The Junior pig Club Has helped promote the breed and established a school with Large White Gilts for breeding.
  • With two thirds of the sows in the North and East regions support is needed to distribute the breed and lines around the country

Middle White

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • All the boar lines have been frozen but we need an additional 3 boars to meet the Phase 1 target of 10 boars in the genebank.
  • With half the boars in a single herd we need to distribute the lines around the country. A Revival boar from the list of least related sows was used to produce two boars for distribution last year.
  • We need help to freeze another 3 boars and get move sows into the North and South regions.

Oxford Sandy & Black

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • All bloodlines are represented in at least 5 herds but only the South and South West regions have all the sow lines
  • The breed has the least number of boars in the genebank with only 6 frozen so far.
  • Support is needed to add 4 more boars to genebank and encourage the movement of sow lines north of the M4

Tamworth

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • We need one more boar line for the genebank to reach the target of 10 covering all the lines
  • All the sow lines are represented in 5 herds but only the North has all the lines. Rita and Roseleaf are the only lines missing from the Central South West regions.
  • Help needed to add a Glen boar to the genebank and boost numbers in Rita and Roseleaf lines

Welsh

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Number of Sows
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Total Registered Pigs
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Breeders

Current conservation targets

  • Breeders of Welsh pigs have doubled In the last 15 years but the breed is still heavily concentrated in Wales with many lines in less than 5 herds.
  • 7 out of 11 boar lines have already been frozen and Vulcan boar is being lined up for inclusion this year
  • Support needed to add 4 boars to the genebank and encourage the spread of the breed out of its Welsh homeland as insurance against an exotic disease life African Swine Fever.