The sale of Celtic pigs shall be in maximum batches per applicant per year of 4 units of pregnant or breeding sows and 1 unit of boars. Prices will be market prices and will be based on those published in the provincial and regional press each week. Applicants must be in possession of the swine husbandry code, be registered in a health protection group, and prove that they have an animal registered in the herd book of the breed in question. In addition, applicants undertake that pregnant sows and boars registered in the herd book will not be slaughtered within one year, and that sows will only be crossbred with males registered in the herd book.
The Celtic breed of pigs is made up of large, rustic animals, well adapted to extensive farming. Specimens of the breed can be found throughout Galicia, but are more concentrated in the province of Ourense, the south of the province of Lugo and in the central and north-western region of the province of A Coruña.
Traditionally, the Celtic pig breed was farmed extensively or at least semi-extensively. It is characterised by its great hardiness, being perfectly adapted to the environment in which it grows, grazing, and feeding on seasonal natural resources such as acorns, chestnuts and plant burrs from the extensive and rich native Galician forests.
In recent decades, rural depopulation, with the consequent lack of labour and abandonment of the land, together with the intensification of production systems in search of higher yields on farms, have led to the almost total extinction of pig grazing in Galicia, especially with the Celtic breed, which has been crossed with foreign breeds, more select and with higher meat yields, or replaced by them, endangering the conservation of the only native Galician pig breed.
The special hardiness of the Celtic breed of pigs, which allows them to adapt perfectly to the habitat conditions of the native Galician forests, which are full of orographic and climatic peculiarities, means that these animals can be farmed entirely extensively, producing products of exceptional quality, which are currently in great demand.
This system of exploitation also makes this breed a collaborator in the maintenance and control of plant biomass, favouring plant biodiversity and the embellishment of the landscape, which, together with its peculiar morphological characteristics, its reproductive qualities and the organoleptic quality of its products, mean that special attention must be paid to it in order to guarantee its recovery and conservation.
PROTOTYPE CELTIC PIG BREED
The prototype to which the Celtic swine breed must correspond in order to be registered in the herd book is detailed below:
1.1.- General appearance
The Celtic breed of pigs is made up of large, dolichocephalic animals with a subconcave to straight frontonasal profile, eumetrical and long-limbed. As a whole they are rustic and harmonious animals. The great development of their skeleton, especially the front third, and the length of their limbs demonstrate their aptitude for walking, which is lively, graceful and with the characteristic outline of the breed.
Three varieties are distinguished: the Santiaguesa variety, the Barcina variety and the Carballina variety. The three varieties are morphologically the same, differing only in the absence or presence of pigmentation and in their place of origin: the Santiaguesa and Barcina varieties are located in the south of the Pyrenees.
1.2.- Regional characteristics
- Head:Large, strong, elongated and with a subconcave to straight frontonasal profile, being on the whole voluminous. Flat and proportionate forehead, forming a sharp ridge at the nape of the neck. Muzzle broad and fat. Large, drooping ears covering the small eyes.
- Neck: Long, narrow and strong.
- Chest: Strong and deep, with slightly sprung ribs.
- Back: Long, slightly sloping and well muscled, making the front third more robust.
- Back and loin: Narrow, long (with six lumbar vertebrae). The dorsolumbar line draws an arc from the broad withers which becomes more prominent at the junction of the loins and hips.
- Kidney withers: Drooping, with medium muscular formation. The tail is provided with a silk tassel at its extremity and is typically twisted.
- Belly and external genitalia: Belly tucked up, with flat underline, with a minimum of 6/6 tits formed, broadly set and evenly spaced. Exceptionally, specimens with less than 12 tits may be admitted, provided that their overall qualification is higher than sufficient. Well formed testicles, symmetrical in length and size. Vulva well formed in bitches.
- Limbs and gait: : Legs well formed, long and strong, with clean and well defined joints. Phalanges of medium length. Legs strong and hard, with total absence of pigmentation. Lively, graceful gait with outline characteristic of the breed.
- Colour and coat: The santiaguesa variety is characterised by a pinkish skin with a total absence of pigmentation. The Barcina variety has small pigmentations, such as slate-grey circular spots, and the Carballina variety is characterised by extensive shiny black pigmentations which can sometimes cover the whole body. In all three varieties the skin is covered with abundant, long, strong silk.
1.3.- Objectionable defects
Segundo a descrición do prototipo racial, considéranse defectos obxectables os seguintes:
- Defectos non salientables no asentamento das extremidades
- Extremidades cortas que fan debaixo do animal.
- Fociño mal formado.
1.4.- Defectos descalificables
According to the description of the breed prototype, the following are considered as objectionable faults:
- General or regional conformation defective to a marked degree (very small and not very voluminous head, convex profile, short, narrow or raised ears, straight dorsolumbar line, horizontal and very muscular withers of the hips).
- Abnormalities of the genitalia: monorchidism, cryptorchidism and infantilism
- Body development not in accordance with age.
Since 2006, INORDE has been collaborating with other organisations and associations in different studies:
“"The effect of the use of chestnuts in the finishing diet on quality", which aims to establish the effect of age at slaughter and the use of chestnuts as a finishing diet on the quality of Celtic pork meat.
"Study of the capacity of the Porco Celta in the cleaning and clearing of our forests" carried out in collaboration with ASOPORCEL.
"Cryopreservation of semen of the native breed of Porco Celta; Creation of a germplasm bank", the aim of which is to select the best examples of Porco Celta boars, as well as to obtain semen from these examples for their conservation.