Japan Project Uses World Genetics To Produce Local Pigs

JAPAN - Hypor has embarked on a project with its Japanese counterpart to bring in new genes from the Hypor worldwide gene pool and increase the future genetic potential in the Japanese breeding population. This will give Hypor Japan customers access to a high quality product selected according to their specific market needs.
calendar icon 1 February 2006
clock icon 5 minute read


Hypor is a leader amongst pig breeding companies in the Japanese market. The nucleus population in Japan has an SPF(Specific Pathogen Free)-level and there are strict import rules for entering new breeding stock into the Japanese market.

The Japanese meat market is a specific niche market. There is a special focus on meat quality and taste with high attention for intramuscular fat and marbling. Hypor has designed a specific BLUP (Best Linear Unbiased Predictions)-index for the Japanese market and has implemented this index in their selection program. Since the early nineties this index has helped Hypor Japan to meet the specific needs of their market. In the boar lines it has resulted in the Japanese AB-boar, which has an excellent reputation in the Japanese market.

In sow lines the requirements for the Japanese market are slightly different. How are they different?

Within the Hypor breeding program, worldwide linkage of breeding population and exchanging the best genes is paramount, says Benny van Haandel Head of breeding department of Hypor. With the Japanese market, normal semen exchange is difficult due to the very strict health regulations. Hypor had discussed the need and possibilities for gene transfer to Japan and decided that an SPF-project was the solution.

To make new fresh genes available for the Japanese market, Hypor selects sows and boars on the Japanese indexes and arranges specific matings to produce SPF-litters that meet the Japanese market requirements.


A delegation of Hypor Japan, Mr. Dr. Tateishi and Mr. Inoue, visited the Netherlands and Belgium to look for the possibilities in bringing improved genes to Japan. They looked at the best suited sows having the highest values for the Japanese BLUP-index in both Large White (C-line) and Landrace (D-line). Health requirements were such that all pigs brought into the current Nucleus population in Japan need to have SPF-status. Therefore ASG in Lelystad was chosen to perform SPF C-section operations to produce disease free piglets.

Selection of the sows was based on the following principles:

  1. Feneral disease status, PRRS status and PRRS-treatment program of the farm

  2. Japanese BLUP -index, guaranteeing the best fit to the Japanese market

  3. Screening was done on all potential Large White (C-line) and Landrace (D-line) A.I. boars in the Belgium and the Netherlands.

  4. In the Large White (C-line) selection, the aim was to select especially for animals containing Meishan genes for introduction in Japanese Large White (C line). The Meishan is known for its high fertility and positive impact on meat quality.

Judith Maas was appointed as head of the project team that was formed for this project. Wouter Deley, Konrad Broekman, Tom van Hecke and Peter Wagenaars are responsible respectively for veterinarian issues, genetic issues and production and selection.

The objective was to produce 8 SPF C-line litters and 4 SPF D-line litters. For each line two farms were selected for the project: One of them had preference and the other one was used as a backup. All sows were synchronised so would be 113 days pregnant on the scheduled dates for operation. Operations were planned on 3 consecutive days. Also, an extensive screening protocol for PRRS was put in place.

On November 2, 3 and 4 the C-sections were done as planned at the farms of first choice of origin. The results of the operations were excellent:

  • A total of 13 sows were operated: 9 C-line and 4 D-line sows
  • In total 180 pigs were born alive, which means an average of 13.9 piglets per sow.


The piglets will be reared under SPF conditions at ASG Lelystad for 30-35 days after which a selected group will be transported to Japan. In Japan there will be a quarantine period for about 30 days before the piglets are transported to their destination, the SPF Nucleus barn of Hypor Japan.


This project for the Japanese market shows once more that Hypor can offer a customized tailor made breeding solution through the EuriBLUP program to meet specific market requirements. It also proves that Hypor is capable of organizing effective linkages between high health status nucleus barns worldwide to strengthen their program.

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