top of page

Breed Standard

British Pig Association

Breed Standard and Standards of Excellence


Section A - To be eligible for Herd Book entry a pig must (except in exceptional circumstances) be:

- bred in the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland

- have at least 12 sound teats

- ear-marked and birth recorded with the BPA in accordance with current regulations

- the offspring of parents already registered either in the Herd Book of the same breed (or in a supplementary register of the Herd Book maintained at BPA’s discretion)

- Free from congenital defects (e.g. Umbilical and Scrotal Hernias, Atresia Ani (blind anus),

cryptorchid boars, extra cleys, twisted, overshot or undershot jaw and rose on the back)

- conform to any other such regulations as are made by the BPA Council from time to time In exceptional circumstances a pig which does not fulfil all the criteria above may be accepted for herdbook registration following an inspection.

Breed Specific Requirements for Herdbook Registration

Ears                     Lop ears

Colour                  Black.

Breed Specific Disqualifications which make the pig ineligible for Herdbook Registration           Any colour other than black

Section B – Standard of Excellence –

These are recommendations only - breeders should try to achieve these standards in their breeding programmes. Pigs will be judged against these standards of excellence at BPA shows. The Standard of Excellence should be used in the light of known commercial requirements. When assessing the relevant merits of Large Black pigs, this should be done against a background of the killing-out value of the pig at correct weight and age. The value of the pig from a commercial point of view should always take precedence over its ability to conform to breed characteristics as laid down by the Standard of Excellence.

General Quality and Conformation                Good carriage on sound feet with length and well developed loin and hams

Head                                                              Well-proportioned Medium length, broad and clean between the ears

Jowl & Cheek                                                  Freedom from jowl. Strong under-jaw

Ears                                                               Long, thin and well-inclined over the face.

Neck                                                              Long and clean.                               

Chest                                                             Wide and deep

Shoulders                                                      (Important) Fine and in line with ribs.

Back                                                              Very long and strong                        

Ribs                                                               Well sprung

Loin                                                               Broad and strong

Sides                                                             Long and moderately deep

Quarters                                                        Long, wide and not drooping            

Hams                                                             Very broad and full.

Legs                                                              Well set, straight and fat. Fine bone

Tail                                                                 Set moderately high and thick-set.

Skin                                                                Blue-black Fine and soft.

Coat                                                               Fine and soft, with moderate quantity of straight black silky hair.

Underline                                                       Full, straight underline, with at least twelve sound, evenly spaced, well-placed teats and starting well forward


Breed Specific Objections – Breeders should try to avoid these in their breeding programmes

Ears                      Thick, coarse, cabbage leafed.        

Coat                     Coarse, curly or bristly-mane.

Skin                      Thick, wrinkled or sooty-black.

Legs and Feet      Crooked. Low pasterns and excessively bent hocks.

Neck                     Coarse Collar

Head                    Excessive jowl, narrow forehead

Shoulder              Heavy and coarse shield.

Condition              Excessive fat to be discouraged at Show


Pigs must comply with Section A. Breeders should aspire to breed pigs which meet the Standards of Excellence in Section B. More information is available in the BPA leaflet – Pedigree Breeding the Next Steps.

British Pig Association,


Updated Autumn 2013


bottom of page