China breeds giant pigs as heavy as polar bears

Farmer in Guangxi owns hog weighing 500 kilograms

A 750-kg hog in China's province of Henan.

A 750-kg hog in China's province of Henan. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As a result of the ravages of African swine fever, China has begun breeding pigs as heavy as polar bears, reports said Tuesday (October 8).

A farmer in the southern province of Guangxi owns a hog which weighs 500 kilograms instead of the normal range of 100 to 125 kg, Bloomberg reported. The meat from the animal is expected to fetch three times the average monthly disposable income in the provincial capital of Nanning.

Just raising an animal that weighs 140 kg would boost profits by 30 percent, leading both small hog farmers and biotechnology firms to do their utmost to increase the animals’ average weight, according to Bloomberg.

The African swine fever might have led to the culling of half the country’s pig population, with pork prices surging to record levels and the government encouraging higher production to fight inflation.

A pork shortage of 10 million tons estimated for this year cannot be compensated by imports, leaving increased domestic production as the only way out of the crisis, Bloomberg noted.