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Basque pig

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Marie José Mercat et al., In: Candek-Potokar M et Nieto R, European local breeds – Diversity and performance. A study of project Treasure, ed. IntechOpen, 2019, p. 81-88

Local pig breeds are adapted to the specific local environment and fed with various locally available feedstuffs. Besides their genetic merit for agro-biodiversity, they represent the basis for sustainable local pork chains. The present chapter aims to present history and current status of the Basque pig breed, its exterior phenotypic characteristics, geographical location, production system and main products. This French autochthonous breed of pigs, which almost disappeared few decades ago, seems now consolidated, thanks to a chain organization and recognised high-quality products (Protected Designation of Origin).
Reproductive performance data reviewed from the literature and estimated from the LIGERAL database (herdbook) are presented. Available data on production traits including growth (early, middle, late and overall growth), feed intake, body composition and carcass traits are also summarized. Meat quality traits (pH, colour, intramuscular fat content and fatty acid composition) and back fat tissue characteristics (fatty acid profile) are also described. Studies on the Basque pig breed are scarce. Different production systems, feeding regimes and feed composition used among studies can explain differences observed between studies, especially for productive traits. However, the current review gives insight into the reproduction, production and carcass and meat quality traits of this local pig breed.