Additions to the A.M.B.A. Herd Book and Pedigree Data Base
The fundamental purpose of the American Meishan Breeders Association is to document a pedigree history of subject hogs which have been verified to be progeny and descendants of the original importation, from China, of 99 Meishan Pigs to the United States in 1989. Members and non members should recognize that failure of any hog to be entered into the A.M.B.A. on line pedigree data base and herd book is not a statement of lack of purity of any individual pig or breeding herd. It simply means that there is currently insufficient documentation as required below to confirm a chain of custody back to the original importation or that there was insufficient information supplied to meet the A.M.B.A.’s minimum pedigree data requirements. The A.M.B.A. is actively trying to identify pure but currently undocumented examples of the Meishan Breed in North America(see our National herd Survey Form).Both purity and some minimum level of pedigree history are inseparable components when the A.M.B.A. considers adding either individual pigs or entire breeding herds to the On Line Pedigree Data Base. The A.M.B.A. is currently actively seeking to identify subject hogs, or their documented progeny, which may have been dispersed from one of the three original research facilities (Iowas State, University of Illinois and the U.S.D.A. Meat Animal Research Center) Individuals who beleive they own such hogs should contact the A.M.B.A. at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject hogs or herds will be evaluated on a case by case basis. However there are minimum standards of information required for consideration:
Establishment of Chain of Custody: That is if the current owner cannot document that the subject hogs were obtained directly from one of the three research facilities by the current owner then a transactional history must be established which does allow the A.M.B.A. trace the hog or its lineage to one of the three facilities.This is necessary because currently there is no DNA test for breed purity for the Meishan breed. In addition there is no reliable method to visually determine the difference between a pure example of a Meishan Pig and a Meishan Influenced pig with 50% or greater Meishan genetics.
In order for the A.M.B.A. to proceed with an investigation as to the eligibility (both under chain of custody and pedigree history) of any pig submitted for inclusion in the online pedigree database and herd book there are minimum standards of information required. The minimum data required is name and contact info of the most recent previous owner of the subject pig. If the transaction took place in an auction format then the minimum data required is :
- The date and location of the sale including the name and contact info of the auction house.
- The name and contact information of the consigning party at the sale.
In the case of a series of private transfers or auction consignors leading up to the current ownership:
- The name and contact info of the selling party and if that party was the breeder of the pig a sale barn or merely a broker.
- If the selling party was the breeder the identity of the parent hogs(ie name and/or tag numbers) .
- If the selling party did not obtain the parents from one of the three facilities then the submitter of the candidate hog must provide name, contact info etc on the source of their hogs
- If from a breeder (rather than broker or auction sale barn) the submitter must provide date of birth of the subject hog (Month and year minimum)
Since Iowa State was the first to disperse (2008-2010) there may be multiple transactions of original or progeny hogs leading up to the current candidate. The A.M.B.A. is willing to trace these transactions if need be.But be advised this may require the cooperation of multiple breeders, brokers and auction or sale barns. In addition this process depends on the accuracy and honesty of the participating parties.Information supplied which is later found to be inaccurate (intentionally or otherwise) will significantly negatively impact any submission.
Two Generation Pedigree: Because the integrity of the pedigree data base is fundamental to the value of membership the A.M.B.A. seeks to have a minimum of a two generation pedigree (sire/ Damn, Maternal Grand sire/Grand Damn, Paternal Grand Sire/ Grand Damn) on pigs in the data base. Individual pigs will be evaluated on a case by case basis. When breeding herds are located we reserve the right to request submission of the entire herd or the source herd,rather than just individual piglets.
Location of the breeding herd,submission of breeding practices and breeding conditions: The American Meishan Breeders Association may require that the location of the actual breeding animals be submitted to the A.M.B.A. Further we reserve the right to inquire as to how pigs are marked(ear tag or notching etc) and how they are segregated to assure that pedigree data submitted has a very high degree of confidence. In addition a description of facilities including photographic evidence to confirm that there are sufficient lots or pastures to segregate intact animals of the same sex may be required.
Please be advised there is no DNA test for Meishan purity. Please be advised that photographs alone do not constitute adequate evidence of the purity of any subject hog as Meishan appearance genetics tend to be dominant in high percentage crosses.
Cost to applicant:
- Application to consider an individual subject hog or subject herd= No charge
- Cost to trace transactional history if required= No charge
If pigs are approved for herd book inclusion:
- Membership- No charge to applicant for 1 annual Associate Membership or a $25 credit towards a Certified Breeder membership or Certified Lifetime Membership.
- Registration Certificates /Pedigrees- No charge if pig(or pigs) are approved for inclusion in database. Please note this requires a batch submission of all subject pigs in any one herd. Progeny from the subject herd will be eligible for potential discounts on a case by case basis. Applicants should contact the A.M.B.A. President for details in these cases.
The A.M.B.A reserves the right to request copies of documentation ,including photographs , referenced corroboration or transaction receipts, on any subject hog or hogs submitted.
All decisions on inclusion into the American Meishan Pedigree Data Base are at the sole discretion of the Board of Directors of the American Meishan Breeders Association
Herd Book Classifications For Individual Pigs,
The American Meishan Breeders herd book will classify each individual founding Meishan pig entered into the herd book in two ways in one of two ways
A.M.B.A. Certified Pure Pig-Foundation Stock – Pigs , male or female,directly traceable to any of the three research herds through a chain of custody investigation carried out through the National Herd Census and approved by the American Meishan Breeders Association Board of Directors.
Bloodline Contributions of Individual Pigs
In addition The A.M.B.A. herd will track each individual pigs bloodline or percentage of contributing bloodline.
Those bloodlines will be noted as:
USDA Herd (USDA)
Iowa State (IS)
University of Illinois (UI)
Grade On Appearance -(G) Females only
Successive generations of pigs will track each individual pigs bloodline contribution.
For example an Individual Pig might be 50% USDA,25% IS and 25% Grade
Breed Performance Criteria
Finally since one of the most critical differentiating traits of pure and genetically healthy Meishan Pigs is proflificacy(their hyper-prolific nature demonstrated by larger litters). The A.M.B.A. recognizes that litter size has a genetic component(although it is not the sole determining factor to individual litter sizes). The A.M.B.A. also recognizes that litter size, while not a highly inheritable trait in swine, does respond to selective breeding .To help breeders preserve this trait in the North American Herd the A.M.B.A. will award “Performance Stars” to sows that successfully farrow a litter of 12 or more piglets. Any individual sow that does farrow a litter of 12 live piglets or more will receive a Litter star” on her pedigree.In addition when a sow is awarded a star the boar that sired that sow will receive a “Litter star” also. “Litter Stars will also be awarded to her male offspring in litters over 12. Proper boar selection is a critical component in herd development and management. Superior boar selections can have the greatest impact on the genetic sustainability of the U.S. Meishan herd. The utilization of this performance criteria will assist all member breeders in their herd sire selection.
Grade on Appearance Status – This Program/Designation is currently on Hold.These are Meishan gilts or sows submitted during the national herd census which the A.M.B.A. feels have a very high probability of being pure Meishan. However if for whatever reason a direct chain of custody back to one of the three research herds cannot be fully verified female examples of these pigs will be classified Grade on Appearance. Pigs considered for this level of recognition still must have the minimum pedigree data available. Members may appeal for a status upgrade at a later date and these pigs can be reviewed and reclassified if a chain of custody can later be verified.
Be advised that successive generations of this level pig will track percentage of genetic contribution to the individual pig when bred to a Foundation Level boar (only). Further only female off spring from these breedings can receive Grade on Appearance Status due to the potential genetic contamination a single boar can have on the herd book.
For Example an individual offspring from a Grade/Foundation breeding might be 50% Foundation Level Stock(USDA, Iowa State or University of Illinois) and 50% Grade on Appearance pigs
Only females will be entered as Grade on Appearance. They should reflect the size , temperament coloring , conformation and prolificacy called out in A.M.B.A. breed description . They should be free of any hint of genetic contamination. They should also be sound examples of the breed. to repeat,boars will not be entered into the pedigree herd book to minimize the impact of possible genetic contamination.
PLEASE NOTE: The A.M.B.A. Board of Directors has currently placed the “Grade on Appearance ” designation on hold as the potential ramifications and impact to the genetic preservation efforts are reviewed.