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Swabian-Hall Swine

The Swabian-Hall swine (Schwäbisch-Hällische Landschwein) is a breed of domestic pig originating from Schwäbisch Hall in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. They are a large breed, white with black head and hindquarters, the end of the tail and the snout are white too. Between the black and the white is a grey zone because of pigmented skin and unpigmented hair. They have large litters, averaging more than nine piglets.

The breed was started by King George III, who imported from Japan Meishan pigs in 1820 to crossbreed with the German Landrace with the idea of increasing the fat content. The breed proved popular, and by 1959 totalled 90% of pigs in Baden-Württemberg. However, their popularity declined in the 1960s, as markets preferred leaner pork with less fat than the Swabian-Hall could offer. The breed was kept going in small numbers by enthusiastic farmers in the Hohenlohe district, although numbers were down to only seven breeding sows and two boars by 1984. The breed today has a high reputation amongst gourmets, having a darker meat and strong, distinctive flavour. Since 1998, Swabian-Hall pork (Schwäbisch-Hällisches Qualitätsschweinfleisch) is a name with Protected Geographical Status in the European Union; only pigs coming from the Swabian Hall, Hohenlohe, and some adjacent districts can be sold under that name. There are now only around 1500 sows registered to this breed. All of these are from farms belonging to the Farmer Producer Association of Swabian Hall (Bäuerliche Erzeugergemeinschaft Schwäbisch Hall), who implement an inspection regime which strictly controls the quality of feed given to the animals.

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