Pigs: a handbook to the breeds of the world
There are about 780 million pigs in the world, nearly half of them in Asia. For at least 40,000 years, pigs have been a major source of animal protein in all except Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish cultures, and in some societies they have played an essential role far beyond that of providing meat, manure for fertilizer, and leather. This book, fully illustrated with color paintings and black-and-white illustrations, is an encyclopedic work that describes every breed, variety, and local type of pig in the world, as well as wild and feral pigs, important extinct breeds, and the huge number of commercial hybrids. Valerie Porter first introduces the pig: its origin in the wild state, biology, domestication, and hybridization. She then groups the species accounts in geographical sections, by country of origin, placing each region's pigs in a cultural as well as an agricultural context. She traces the development of each breed, with ample reference to influential breeds that no longer exist or are rare. The preservation of ancient breeds, both European and oriental, is vital today, she maintains, because the search for the perfect animal requires that the genetic pool be as varied as possible. Porter describes the settings for pigs of all kinds and the factors that have shaped them. She covers the historical movements of pig-keeping cultures and thus the spread of domestication; the arrival of domesticated pigs in unlikely places in the company of navigators and explorers; historical and current national pig industries; and the often complicated and intriguing detective stories involving the history of different breeds. With its comprehensive coverage, this book will be an invaluable reference forprofessional agriculturalists, particularly those in developing countries, teachers and students of veterinary science and animal science, and commercial firms. Because of the author's accessible writing style, it is sure to attract other interested readers.
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