Miniature pig


Miniature pig
Miniature pig
Country of origin Europe
Traits
Weight Male: Under 45 pounds (20 kg)
Weight Female: Under 45 pounds (20 kg)
Pig (Sus scrofa domesticus.)

A miniature pig is one of the breeds developed and used for medical research or developed for use as a pet. These smaller pigs were first used for medical research in Europe before being introduced to the United States as pets in the 1980s. Since then, the animals have been used in studies by scientists around the world, including for study as a source of organs for organ transplantation.[citation needed] Some miniature pigs are also kept as pets in European countries.

Contents

History

Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs that grow to be 150–200 pounds (68–91 kg) were sent to zoos in Western nations in the 1960s.[1] Later, for scientific research they were selectively bred for smaller size[1] than "bacon-type" pigs.[2] Pigs that stay smaller had advantages for medical research over other breeds that grow very large and have weight and health issues because of their size. While they are small in size, they can still be raised for bacon production and often are used as such if they become overweight.[2]

In the 1980s miniature pigs were brought into the United States as pets.[1] Miniature pigs generally weigh less than 45 pounds (20 kg) and stand less than 19 inches (48 cm) at the withers (compared to 300–600 pounds (140–270 kg) for many pigs with some growing as large as 1,000 pounds (450 kg)).[1] Lines of miniature pigs have been bred in numerous breeds.[1]

In the UK, British micro pigs[3] have been bred by Rob Rose in Cumbria since 1996. British micro pigs are not only found in zoos, animal parks and open farms, but are also kept as pets.

In this days people also use the names mini, micro, thimble and pintsize, as well as teacup.

Medical research

Miniature pigs have been used for medical research including toxicology, pharmacology, and aging.

As pets

Miniature pigs, also known as micro pigs, have seen an increase in popularity. They can be house-trained[4], and keep themselves exceptionally clean, despite people believing that pigs are dirty creatures. Micro pigs are unfortunately being abandoned, as many people do not know how to properly care for them. .[5]

Other notable references

A Yucatan miniature pig is the unofficial mascot of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. [6]

The world's smallest pig is believed to be the 28 inches (71 cm) long wild pygmy hog, an endangered species which lives in wildlife sanctuaries in Assam, India.[7]

The CBS television series How I Met Your Mother features a miniature pig in the episode entitled "Hooked". It is used by Barney to tempt girls into his apartment before he seduces them, and is also used so that Lily could learn to reject her old high-school boyfriend Scooter.

British micro pigs can be seen on ITV's show The Lakes in 2011.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e John Pukite A field guide to pigs Globe Pequot, 1999ISBN 1-56044-877-6, 9781560448778 126 pages
  2. ^ a b Britannica Lessons Biology Our Environment II Management of Food Resources Food Production page 76
  3. ^ http://www.valleyofthepigs.co.uk/
  4. ^ Mini Pig Care guide
  5. ^ http://www.bestfriends.org/theanimals/pdfs/pigs/Pig_Teacup.pdf
  6. ^ Meet Rosie a Yucatan miniature pig May 10, 2009 NECN.com
  7. ^ Mini pigs are big success on farm 15 October 2007 BBC News

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