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Chinese farmers are breeding ‘mutant’ pigs the size of polar bears

Published Oct 8th, 2019 1:16PM EDT
mutant pigs
Image: Hieu Dinh/AP/Shutterstock

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Farmers have always done their best to maximize yield, whether that be cramming another row of corn onto a field or breeding beefier cattle, but pig farmers in China are really taking things to a new level. As Bloomberg reports, some pig farmers in the country have bred their animals into an almost unrecognizable state, and boy are they big.

On a farm owned by a man named Pang Cong, one particularly supersized pig weighs in at over 1,100 pounds, making it bigger than a polar bear.

Pork prices are currently high in many parts of China due to an illness that rapidly swept through farms and claimed the lives of countless animals. Now, the farms with healthy pigs are doing their best to meet the demand, and are getting top dollar for their animals as a bonus.

Pang’s farm is a relatively small-scale operation, but his big pigs still fetch a hefty sum, with the largest ones selling for over 10,000 yuan, or roughly $1,400. That’s big money for small farming operations, and the larger farmers in the region have taken notice, placing an emphasis on breeding larger and larger animals.

As the country recovers from the effects of the swine fever that wiped out so many animals, prices will likely stabilize a bit, but the trend of breeding bigger pigs may well be here to stay. Once farmers begin placing an emphasis on bigger livestock during breeding, turning back the clock isn’t just difficult, it may also seem like a bad business move.

This is to say nothing for the health of the animals, of course. As the pigs get larger and the yield goes up, the animals are likely to be increasingly uncomfortable, as their skeletal structure and internal organs aren’t necessarily built to deal with the strain.

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