This site is a place of study and rigorous information that responds to the needs of those wishing to learn and understand. This section is devoted to Italian swine breeds.
In the early 20th century, Italy was home to over 20 pig breeds and populations; nowadays there are few, all in precarious conditions. Among these, the Cinta Senese appears to have an excellent growth potential due to its number, production methods, and its strong connection to Tuscany, the region of origin. Click on the menu on the left of the page for information about the origins, characteristics and morphology of each individual breed.
In Italy and Europe, the most widespread extinction of all livestock animals was that of the pig. This process was caused by the gradual abandonment of indigenous breeds that, by nature, are more prone to fattening, slow to breed, barely prolific, and reared in the wild or semiwild, in favour of foreign hybrids that are reared under intensive pig-farming conditions. The number of indigenous Italian pig breeds to survive the socio-economic transformations that have occurred in the agro-livestock sector over the last century is six, granting them official recognition in the population registers of the Constitution. These are the Mora Romagnola, Casertana, Cinta Senese, Calabrese, Sarda and Sicilian (or Black of Nebrodi) breeds.
Today, recovery programmes have been set up for the surviving populations that have often proved best for some local and traditional production methods. The WWF has also contributed to one of these programmes in collaboration with the Universities of Turin and Milan for the protection of the Mora Romagnola breed.
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