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The History of the BPA:
The First Progeny Testing Station

The sale of those first Landrace pigs was highly profitable for the NPBA. But the Ministry had imposed a condition that the money should be used for the benefit of the whole pig industry. In response to this the association took another step that had a profound effect on the "improvement of the breed of swine".

The NPBA Producer Testing and Research Co. Ltd. was given the profit from the Landrace sales to begin the first progeny testing station. A prime mover in the creation of a progeny scheme was the association's secretary Robert Johnson who had spent some time in Denmark and seen the advantages that the controlled assessment of pigs could bring to the industry. The NPBA had wanted to introduce such a scheme for improvement in this country; and the Landrace windfall provided the finance.

The aim of the association was to relate the test results back to the pedigree standards of excellence and so into the commercial herds. The Selby test station, established in 1952, was to form the basis of a National Progeny Testing Scheme. A National scheme was finally established by the Government three years later, funded by a levy of “1d a score” on all pigs certified at liveweight and deadweight centres. The total cost, in 1955, of this national scheme inspired by the original NPBA test centre was in excess of half a million pounds.

The NPBA's Selby Testing House with individual feed hoppers   Carcase measurements at Selby
The NPBA's Selby Testing House with individual feed hoppers   Carcase measurements at Selby

The need for independent management of the National Testing Scheme led to the formation of the Pig Industry Development Authority on which the association had extensive re-presentation. And, in turn, PIDA became the nucleus of the wider ranging Meat and Livestock Commission launched in 1968.



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