Britain will start exporting breeding pigs to China in a five-year deal valued at US$73 million.
“This agreement gives a valuable boost to the British pig industry and is already delivering results,” said business secretary Vince Cable.
The pigs will begin to be flown out shortly, the first export of British breeding pigs to China in three years. With artifi cial insemination techniques, an adult boar can sire 6,000 piglets a year.
Two British firms, JSR Genetics based in Yorkshire and JJ Genetics in Cambridge, are already planning to expand their business in China on the back of the deal.
Agreement has also been reached on health certification to allow a start to be made on the export of British pork to China. British industry officials say that pig meat exports to China have the potential to rise to nearly US$70 million annually if all U.K. meat-processing plants are approved.