About Cumberland Pigs
Cumberland Pigs were a pig from Northern England
that are now extinct. They were
used to produce local delicacies like theCumberland sausage and Cumberlandham. The breed
became extinct in 1960, after changes in farming methods and a demand for less
fatty meat led to it falling out of favor.
Cumberland Pigs were a very old
breed that likely developed over several hundred years inCumberlandandWestmorland, and was closely related to the Old Yorkshire white
pig. They were a heavy-set white pig with pendulous ears, and a tough
constitution that enabled them to withstand the poor weather of Northern
England. During the 19th century, many efforts were made to improve pig breeds,
and the Cumberland was often crossed with the Yorkshire white breeds, which
eventually developed into theLarge
White. The Cumberland Pig Breeders Association was created in 1916, and the
breed reached a height of popularity during the 1920s.
pigs began to fall out of favor in the mid-20th century due to a demand for
leaner meat. In 1955, the Advisory Committee on the Development of Pig Production
in the United Kingdom issued a report that pig farmers in the UK, to ensure
standardization, should concentrate on three breeds: the Large White,Welsh, and Landrace. By this time, the Cumberland stock was
already dwindling and only three boars were licensed by 1954.
Cumberland pig is considered to have become extinct in 1960 after the last
individual, a sow belonging to a Mr. Thirwall, died on Bothel Craggs farm inBothel.