Six Piglets Wag their Tails to Welcome the Public to Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden
Da Hua Bai pig
Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG) is delighted to announce that six Da Hua Bai pigs are ready to greet the visitors at the Pigsties in the lower farm. The Da Hua Bai breed, originated from Guangdong, and is listed on the National Livestock Species Protection List of China. The piglets are 4 months old and the 3 males and 3 females will devote themselves to the role of education ambassadors at KFBG in the coming 10 years.
Pigs and Kadoorie Farm go back a long way. In the days of the Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Association (K.A.A.A.) from 1956 to 1995, pig breeding and livestock improvement was a major part of the work of this site. The Da Hua Bai was one of the most famous and popular Chinese pig breeds in those days.
Idy Wong, Head of Sustainable Living and Agriculture Department said, “The pigs serve as education ambassadors for KFBG’s heritage display, and help to promote the sustainable living message of ‘Eat Less Meat’.”
According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “Hong Kong's per capita pork consumption tops Asia and it almost doubles that of mainland China. Hong Kong’s per capita consumption of beef and poultry also ranks among the highest in the world. “Industrialized meat production systems are operated with intensive resource input and huge environmental costs. Carbon emissions resulting from the consumption of 1kg of beef would be equal to consuming over 10kg of grain. High red-meat consumption is also associated with the increase in various chronic disease risks. Choosing to eat less meat is more responsible for our body but also for the world.” Wong added.
“By providing a safe and comfortable environment for the pigs to express their normal behavior, we hope that visitors can re-discover that livestock animals are lively creatures with feelings just like us,” Wong stated. Pigs are intelligent creatures with good appetites. To ensure the best possible care for these pigs, KFBG keepers use food as treats to train the pigs to get used to the procedures of regular veterinary examinations. They are also trained to eat from separate bowls to assure the submissive individuals have access to food and to control the feeding amount of each individual. As these pigs will live their full, natural lifespan, their diet and weight are carefully monitored to avoid obesity and joint problems when they are aging. Apart from serving as education ambassadors, the pigs also help to digest farm residues and convert them to fertile resources for composting.
KFBG would like to acknowledge the National Livestock Science Research Centre in Guangzhou for donating the piglets and their keen effort in conserving Da Hua Bai.