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RBST calls for consumer support as native species decline

14th Apr 2017 / By Alistair Driver

The Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) is urging consumers to question the provenance of their pork products and insist on pedigree British pork.

GOSThe call came after RBST publishes its annual figures showing the number of actively breeding native sows was in decline for a number of traditional species. 

While cattle, sheep and even goat numbers are relatively stable, out of the 11 pig breeds recognised as being native to the British Isles, seven are seeing their numbers fall. Of those seven, the well-known Gloucestershire Old Spot is in the steepest decline.

Tom Beeston, CEO of RBST said there was 'an urgent need to encourage more producers to take on these breeds to stop the genetic pool shrinking, but breeders must have a market for their produce'.

"That means we need more people to buy native-breed pork – and, when they buy, to make sure that they are buying the real thing.”

“I have lost count of the times people have told me they have had Gloucestershire Old Spots sausages but there are only 416 registered pedigree breeding females in the whole country.  If there was that much pedigree meat on the market, we wouldn’t be seeing the breeding numbers falling.  The great problem we must overcome is that many people are probably not eating the real thing.

"And if they are not eating the real thing, they are not enjoying the taste of genuine pedigree pork."

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