In parts of Asia wild and feral pigs are often the most abundant source of meat. These animals are predominantly variants of the domestic pig, Sus scrofa, or of its ancestor, the Eurasian wild boar. Also contributing to the pig population are five Asian species:
· Bearded pig
· Sulawesi warty pig
· Javan warty pig
· Pigmy hog
In Southeast Asia hybridization between these species and common pigs has resulted in a confusing diversity of forms and interrelationships. Because of their value, these pigs have been spread since prehistoric times by traders and migrating peoples, creating odd and unpredictable distribution patterns.
The species listed represent a gene pool of potential importance for the further development of one of man's most important sources of food.
In many areas of the world, one must start with the native animals adapted to that environment. In many cases, they are the only animals the native human population can afford to begin with. And it is amazing the increased animal production that can result from the use of better production practices with them. TONY J. CUNHA, Dean Emeritus California State Polytechnic University Pomona, California, USA
Fitting the animal to the vegetation might be a better approach than trying to fit the vegetation to the animal, especially on ranges that have been changed or degraded by man. JAMES TEER, Director Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Austin, Texas, USA
There is now widespread realization that breed importation is not necessarily the quickest route to increased animal production. Indigenous, adapted breeds should be examined more closely and, where necessary, steps should be taken to ensure conservation of at least some of them. HELEN NEWTON TURNER Genetics Research Laboratories, CSIRO, North Ryde, New South Wales, Australia
Maximizing the animal harvest, essentially of animal protein, assumes in concept that all animals will be fully exploited in efficient and economic production systems. C.DEVENDRA Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Selangor, Malaysia