China breeds giant pigs the size of polar bears as African swine fever causes pork shortage

In a farm deep in a southern region of China lives a very big pig that is as heavy as a polar bear.

The 500kg (1,102lbs) animal is part of a herd being bred to become giant swine. At slaughter, some of the pigs can sell for more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,400), over three times the average monthly disposable income in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, where Pang Cong, the farm’s owner, lives.

Although Pang’s pigs may be an extreme example of the lengths farmers are going to fill China’s 

pork shortage

 problem, the idea that bigger is better has been spreading across the country, home to the world’s most voracious consumers of the meat.

Pang’s prize specimen is heavier than an average adult male polar bear. Meanwhile, in the northeastern province of Jilin, 

high pork prices

 are prompting farmers to raise pigs to reach an average weight of 175 to 200kg, far heavier than the normal weight of 125kg. They want to raise them “as big as possible”, Zhao Hailin, a hog farmer in the region, said.

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