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Mora Romagnola

The Mora Romagnola was bred in the province of Forlì and Ravenna but also throughout Romagna. Several types are to be found on various breeding areas with different shades of colour. The breed is long-limbed, medium-sized, with a small head and a long thin muzzle. Their ears bend forward and parallel to the muzzle, they have black almond eyes, dark skin and black bristles forming a sort of mane along the lumbar region.

It is one of the six autochthonous pig breeds recognised by the Ministero delle Politiche Agricole Alimentari e Forestali, the Italian ministry of agriculture and forestry. From the beginning of the century all of these types began to be crossed with British Yorkshire pigs, which were first imported to the area in 1886. First-generation crosses preserved some of the meat quality of the local breeds, but grew much faster; because of their smoky colouring, these hybrids were known as Fumati. By 1927 it was recognised that indiscriminate cross-breeding beyond the first generation would lead to the disappearance of the local stock, and in 1941 selective breeding of Romagnolo pigs began; in 1942 the breed was named Mora Romagnola, for its brownish-black colouring.

In 1918 the Mora Romagnola breed in Italy counted a number of 335,000 heads. While in 1949 they had already fallen to 22,000 heads mainly reared in the provinces of Forlì and Ravenna, as well as all over Romagna as well. In the early ‘90s only 18 examples survived just in a single herd with high levels of consanguinity. Then WWF Italia, in collaboration with the University of Turin, have decided to carry out a recovery plan of Mora Romagnola breed. Today there are dozens of registered Mora Romagnola breeding farms, most of which in Emilia Romagna, though the breed remains at risk from crossing with Italian Duroc pigs; first-generation hybrids are difficult to distinguish from pure-bred stock.

A herdbook was established in 2001, and is kept by the Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Suini, the Italian national association of pig breeders. The conservation status of the Mora Romagnola was listed as "critical" by the FAO in 2007. At the end of 2012 a population of 1063 was reported.

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