On Tuesday 27th April 2021, 1,030 purebred breeding pigs made the approx. 7,000-mile journey from Stansted Airport (STN) to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) in a Boeing 747-8F aircraft.
China is in need of imported pigs due to losing half of its native population to African swine fever since 2018, which accounts for approximately 30% of the global pig population.
The pigs were transported on behalf of Genesus, the largest independent producer of purebred swine globally, with registered populations of Landrace, Yorkshire and Duroc pigs. Their focus is on non-GMO genetic improvement, which Genesus’ first UK partner, Bridge House Farm in Northamptonshire, is utilising the highest of technology to achieve.
Pigs are weighed and electronically ID-tagged at birth, enabling extremely detailed data to be collected about the pigs from the start. A custom-made software package records the pigs’ performance, which informs what and how much they are fed based on their gender and breed.
Award-winning farmer Charlie Thompson, who is the sixth generation to run Bridge House Farm, tapped into the Chinese market during the past year when opportunities to transport livestock to Europe have been sparse.
The transport, conducted by Intradco Global, saw their new Pig Lift in action for the first time. The Intradco Global Pig Lift is a truck that has been custom converted to enable the pigs to safely and comfortably move from their transport lorry to their crates. Both the front and back of the Pig Lift are adjustable in height, meaning it can be tailored to suit the varying levels of both the lorry and the crates. This allows the pigs to walk from one to the other without having to navigate steep ramps.
The fourteen-hour journey from the UK to China was split up with a stopover in Kazakhstan, during which the pigs had their food and water supplies freshened.
Intradco Global is the world’s leading equine, livestock and exotics transportation air charter specialist. They utilise decades of experience and innovative practical solutions to transport animals safely and efficiently, creating and monitoring controlled environmental conditions including air circulation, humidity and temperature.