Different types of endogenous swine populations have been adapted to the various environmental conditions of Greece due to many years of natural selection. The present paper focuses on the only officially recognized Greek autochthonous swine breed and the methodology applied for breed characterization and monitoring. Although the breed was considered extinct or crossbred with other high–productivity imported animals, several herds, spread around the country, have been reported lately to consist exclusively of pure breed autochthonous swine. In order to secure and preserve national animal genetic resources and especially, this unique gene pool for worldwide swine population, Greece has established a program for describing and identifying purebred Greek swine, determining the breeding system, monitoring herd and population changes. The main objective is to secure breed integrity, to reveal breed comparative advantages in regard to environmental and climate changes adaptability, disease susceptibility and product quality.
Characterization and monitoring of Greek autochthonous swine breed