The History of the BPA:
The Pedigree Association is Reborn
Pedigree breeders took control of their Association again after
several years of dominance by commercial interests. During this
period four new imported breeds had joined the native breeds already
recorded. These were the Chester White, Duroc and Hampshire from
North America and the Pietrain from Europe. Of the three American
breeds only two were able to find a place in the UK production
system; the Duroc and to a lesser extent the Hampshire. The Chester
White is no longer bred in this country. The Pietrain has also
established itself in a small niche for crossbreeding.
So today the BPA represents a dozen breeds classified into two
committees. The Modern breeds committee and the Traditional breeds
committee. The Modern breeds are: Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace, Large
White, Pietrain and Welsh and the aim of the Modern Breeds committee
is to promote and develop the role of pedigree pigs in mainstream
commercial pork production both within the UK and overseas. The
Traditional breeds are: Berkshire, British Saddleback,
Gloucestershire Old Spots, Large Black, Middle White and Tamworth
and the aim of the Traditional Breeds committee is to ensure the
survival of Britain’s traditional breeds through the development of
niche markets and the implementation of conservation programmes.
Pedigree breeders have always been committed to passing on their
knowledge to the next generation. This tradition, which once meant
learning the points systems for judging different breeds, continues
in a thoroughly modern way today. The latest generation of pedigree
breeders make use of the latest computerised selection methods
whilst still striving to produce practical pigs that will work well
high index Duroc boar. MIDDLE: This champion gilt at
the Toronto show was imported to Britain. BOTTOM: One
of the early Pietrain imports for distribution.
New members are being recruited from all parts of the United
Kingdom. The British Pig Association remains committed to continued
representation of its members from Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales
and England both to Westminster and the devolved administrations.
BPA takes a strong role in export promotion of British breeding pigs
and genetics and is committed to improved testing regimes to allow
continued development of its breeds.
Jim Appleton takes his
first pig to the show ring
Three generations of the
Overend family are involved in pedigree breeding
The revival of interest in breed conservation has resulted in new
members joining the Association and BPA is working closely with all
those who are committed to the preservation of our native breeds and
our unique genetic heritage.
No association can survive without young people coming in to build
the future. BPA encourages youngsters to compete at shows as the
next generation of pedigree breeders.
DEFRA's export team at the World Pork Expo
Founded in the 19th Century three years before Queen Victoria’s
Diamond Jubilee and reborn at the dawn of the 21st in time for Queen
Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee, the new pedigree association has been
forged in the fires of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic and faces
the future with renewed vigour.