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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Breeds of Livestock - British Lop Swine

Breeds of Livestock - British Lop Swine

British Lop


The breed was formally established in 1920, but the foundation stock is unknown. It is thought to have been from the original white pigs of Wales, Cumberland and Ulster. At previous times they were referred to as the Cornish White and Devon Lop.

Today the breed is most numerous in the Travistock district. It is mostly confined to Devon County, but is also present in Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset Counties. It has found favor on small general farms where its docile nature, good grazing ability, and general ability to thrive on little specialized care have been most appreciated.

The size of the British Lop is one of the largest to be found in England. Except for its white color, it resembles the Large Black in many characteristics. Its sides are long and deep, the hams deep and well developed, the back relatively straight, and they are of distinct bacon type conformation. The white hair covering is rather long and fine or silky in nature. The ears are large, thin, and droop well down over the face.

The breed has not been widely used in crossbreeding, but when crossed with the Large White the results have been quite satisfactory. Such crosses have produced sides that have won supreme honors in major exhibitions.

Advocates of the breed have stressed their strong constitutions, good health and freedom from common disorders. It appears they have attracted only very limited interest from commercial producers, and until such interest is aroused, the British Lop will no doubt remain more of a novelty than a factor in the pork production of its native country. Interest from foreign countries has, at best, been very limited. The development of such interest will depend upon the accumulation of evidence that it will truly outperform the breeds that are more widespread. Until now, the principal activity of breeders has been to exhibit the breed at shows.


Briggs, Hilton M. 1983. International Pig Breed Encyclopedia. Elanco Animal Health


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