Initially I had an enquiry for six Saddleback pigs from Matt Whalen whom has a heritage farm in the USA. He was very specific in his request for two Saddleback boars by different boar lines and different female lines to four Saddleback gilts.
Due to my running of six different Saddleback boar lines and ten female Saddleback lines you may think this was an easy request to fulfil. But not so as they have to fit in a standard air crate so have to be of specific ages. They needed to be large enough to withstand the journey yet small enough to have sufficient space in the crate.
We selected the pigs several weeks ago and ran these January born pigs together in a special isolation unit. They had to be in isolation for a minimum 60 days before exporting. Tests for all pig diseases had to be taken and an export plane booked.
First we blood tested all the pigs, no problems there, so onto finding a plane.
Only one carrier will take pigs to the USA and they were servicing their wide bodied jets so the pigs had to wait another month– growing every day.
Finally with all the paper work double signed by local and state vets the pigs were loaded and delivered to Heathrow airport cargo terminal for 6am on 19th of May (in a trailer specially disinfected and sealed with numbered seals to be inspected and only broken by the receiving vet at Heathrow).
Pheww !!!!! After all these months and so many different people and authorities involved on both sides of the Atlantic the pigs are now in isolation for 3 weeks in the USA.
These Saddleback pigs from six different female lines and three different boar lines will provide new genetics for the few Saddleback pig breeders in the USA.
This is a proud moment for the Coal Yeat Herd of Pedigree Saddleback pigs as it is the first export of Saddleback pigs to the USA.
There are apparently only 4 pedigree Saddleback breeders in the USA, with the last import of pedigree Saddleback pigs being from Canada so decade ago