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Gloucestershire Old Spot - Pig
Gloucestershire Old Spot Details
UsesPorker, cutter, baconer, exhibition. Scrub and bramble clearance.
OriginBerkeley Vale, Gloucestershire
ClassLop-eared, long bodied, early maturing, dual-purpose
ColourWhite with at least one distinct black spot
ParentageUncertain. A mixture including the Old Gloucester pig.
TeatsAt least 14
MaleGerald, Patrick, Rufus, Sambo.
FemaleBluebell, Countess, Dahlia, Dolly, Ellen, Josephine, Muriel, Primrose, Princess, Princess Ann, Princess Freda, Princess Joan, Princess Mary, Star, Star Antoinette.
Gloucestershire Old Spot Description
Also known as the Cottage Pig and Orchard pig
The Gloucestershire Old Spot (GOS) is one of few relatively unimproved, hardy British pig breeds
Originally, during the 1920’s and earlier the GOS was heavily spotted with black, even to the extent of being more black than white. The origin of the spotting is uncertain. However, the requirements of the Bacon Pigs Marketing scheme from 1933 to 1939 placed great emphasis on the colour of pig breeds. In the case of the GOS a predominantly white carcass was required meaning that the quantity of spotting had to be greatly reduced until it was only desirable to have one spot on each side. Today the GOS must have at least one decisive black spot. The pig is large with a long level back and deep sides. Females must have at least 14 teats.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot Pig Breeders’ Society and herd-book were established in 1914. Although having a period of popularity early in the 20th century, the GOS later became increasingly rare until in 1974 there were only 13 registered boars remaining. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust has been influential in promoting the breed since then.
More recently the breed was awarded Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG) status on 18th June 2010. TSG status is part of a European scheme to protect food names. It recognises that the Gloucestershire Old Spot has traditonal merit and unique eating qualities, regardless of where they are kept around the country. To use the name Gloucestershire Old Spot in the selling of meats from the breed you should, atleast in theory, be TSG approved. This is a means of protecting the reputation of the breed by deterring non approved producers cashing in on the Gloucestershire Old Spot brand, by selling hybrid stock or another breed as Gloucestershire Old Spot pork. TSG status is protected by European law.