The activities of Hungarian Association of Mangalica Breeders

The mangalica pig has a two-hundred-year old history in Hungary, within which 50 years are a success story. The end of the latter was marked by the fact that the number of registered sows fell from 18000 heads in 1955 to 243 in ten years and in another five years to 35-40 (0.2%) animals.

After the change of the regimes the latest stage of mangalica pig breeding can be called a successful sector within the animal husbandry. In 1994, after 64 years Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Breeders was established at the Agricultural University of Debrecen for the second time with twenty members, including six breeders. By 2008 this figure had risen to 150 members producing with 8600 controlled sows.

The increase in the size of the controlled stock justified the hiring of one full-time head breeder in 1998 and two register keepers in 1999, and another two register keepers in 2003, who assist with and monitor the breeding and registering activities of the association. By dividing the territory of the country into four regions the register keepers visit the 40-50 breeders in their areas at least once in every three months.
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The locations of Mangalica stock and controlled farms in 2012

In 2003 Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Breeders compiled and published in Hungarian and English the “initial” pig register of the three mangalica breeds on the basis of ten years of work and declared the stock a closed one. The latest gene preservation research justified that the colour variants of the mangalica pig are the blonde-, the swallow-bellied and the red mangalica breeds.

In the not very distant past the mangalica breeds were bred in 53 lines. In opposition, the number of the lines that are live today is 27. So, the number of lost and extinct lines is 26 , i.e., 49%.

After declaring the Mangalica Pig Register a closed one, the next decision resulting in qualitative changes was the so-called ABC register classification of the stock farms, which was introduced on 1st January 2006, and from which the management of the association expects the controlled raising and trading in of young boars, the establishment of a genetic equilibrium within the breeds and the consideration of the growth vigour as a point the the classification procedure.

Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Breeders has been working for fifteen years in order to make the mangalica pig take its rightful place in the hierarchy of our animal husbandry, in our customs and culture once again, and want to direct people’s attention to and arouse their interest in the representatives of other indigenous animals.

As regards the certification and the preservation of the origin of the mangalica pig, Parliamentary resolution 32/2004. (IV.19.) OGY, which declared protected, indigenous or endangered animals, representing a high genetic value and amongst other animals the mangalica pig too, a national treasure.

Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Breeders has organised the exhibitions of mangalica pigs at the three great regional animal breeding fairs in Hungary every year, where otherwise 170 pig groups are displayed in 60-65 groups (35-40%), for ten years already.

At the OMÉK in Gödöllő in1996 the achievements of the mangalica embryo transplantation experiment conducted with the cooperation of DATE pig farm by ÁTK’s research team was awarded with the special prize of OMMI. At the 74th OMÉK the main prize for Animal Breeding offered by OMMI for the most prestigious animal breeding activity over the previous five years was awarded to the Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Pig Breeders out of over 100 breeding organisations.

Our Association has live contacts with the mangalica pig breeders in all of the neighbouring countries. As regards the sales of our products American and Japanese customers have also appeared side by side with the Spanish market.

As for the utilisation and the encouragement of the population to consume mangalica products, it is an advantage that over 20% of the breeders produce products and have taken part for five years in the Mangalica Festivals organised in Budapest, Debrecen and Szombathely.