The Gloucestershire Old Spots Pig Breeders Club is dedicated to conserving our breed for future generations. The total number of GOS pigs and breeders has gone up and down over the years but conservation is not just about numbers. With such relatively small populations we have to make sure that our pigs don’t become inbred and standards are maintained. We also have to make sure that our pigs are not all in one area of the country in case we get another disease outbreak like Foot and Mouth in 2001. Over the years the Club has put in place initiatives with the help of Club members to conserve failing lines like Primrose and Princess Freda
The Club working alongside the British Pig Association, Deerpark and the Rare Breeds Survival has been working on a method of conservation called genebanking; because pig embryos cannot be frozen this focuses on freezing boar semen. The aim being to secure 10 boars semen from 10 breeds. The GOS breed is the first breed to have 10 boars genebanked.
You can find more about the conservation plans for 2021 onwards here.
GOSPBC Gene Pool Distribution Fund (GPDF)
The BPA’s Conservation Strategy for 2021 highlighted the need to spread the gene pool of our pigs around the United Kingdom. Almost half of GOS sow lines are represented across the regions now and with 80% of all our sow lines in every region of England we have a strong base on which to build, however this does not mean we can be complacent and it was noted after the last survey that we have lines which need help. With this in mind the GOSPBC has decided to fund a scheme using the generous donations from Mr Mrs Glenn Hill and Mr Mrs H Laird-Brown to encourage and assist the geographical spread of bloodlines.
Why is the GOSPBC doing this?
As a benefit to Club members we hope this incentive will support existing breeders to improve the genetic diversity of their herds and to boost the spread of our bloodlines across the UK to protect them in the event of a disease outbreak in any region.
You can find out more information by clicking this link