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Heritage Breed Pigs

There were more than 650 recorded breeds of farm pigs.  150 have become extinct in the last 100 years, and one third of those remaining are at risk of dying out, thier unique genetic qualities lost forever.

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Historically, the Wessex developed almost alongside the Essex Saddleback, which differed only in having white hind feet and tail tip. 
In 1967, the Wessex and the Essex breeds were merged in an effort to prevent both becoming extinct, and generically are referred to as the British Saddleback.
Fortunately, before the herd books were amalgamated some Wessex Saddlebacks had been exported to other parts of the world, including Australia.
The Wessex Saddleback breed survives in its original pure form in small numbers in Australia with less than 100 registered breeding sows. They are considered critically endangered by the Rare Breeds Trust of Australia and thanks to the fantastic work undertaken by the Trust there are now seven registered family blood lines of Wessex Saddleback pigs in this country.
A fantastic twist to this story is that in 2006 embryos and semen from Australian Wessex Saddleback pigs were imported back into Britain to re-establish the breed.