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Gloucester Old Spot pigs could be taken off rare breed list

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

Gloucester Old Spot

Gloucester Old Spot

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A resurgence of Gloucester Old Spot pigs could see them taken off the rare breed list in future.

More widespread use of the pork in sausages nationwide has been seen as key to safeguarding the breed's future.

Richard Lutwyche, secretary of the Gloucestershire Old Spot pig breeding club said: “The pigs thankfully have spread way beyond Gloucestershire and are now in every county in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

“That was a great saviour in 2001 during the foot and mouth outbreak as the consequences could have been devastating.”

No other pedigree spotted breed was recorded before 1913, so today’s GOS is the oldest such breed in the world

They originated around the Berkeley Vale on the southern shores of the river Severn and was usually kept in the cider and perry pear orchards of the area, grazing on windfall fruit.

Farmers have successfully campaigned to protect how GOS pork is labelled on content.

The British pig industry has for some time been calling on successive governments to enforce country of origin labelling to protect higher welfare British pork production.

The European Union has decided that country of rearing and slaughter will be made compulsory on labelling.

In 2011, GOS pork was put on the European Commission’s Protected Food Name (PFN) list, alongside Melton Mowbray pork pies, Cornish clotted cream and Arbroath smokies.

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