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Conservation

 

 

Information taken from BPA website 2020

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 cannot 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

  • 324: Number of Sows
  • 427: Total Registered Pigs
  • 108: Breeders

Current conservation targets for Berkshire Pigs

  • 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

The Berkshire is the oldest recorded pedigree pig breed in Britain.

Whilst there were records of Berkshire pigs in the 17th century these are very different to the pig we call a Berkshire now as these were large and came in a variety of sizes.

Links to conservation data
https://britishpigs.org.uk/documents/BPA-conservation-strategy-update-2020.pdf
https://britishpigs.org.uk/documents/BPA-RBST-Genebanking-strategy-update-2020.pdf
https://britishpigs.org.uk/documents/BPA-On-Farm-Conservation-support.pdf