European pig at Stoney Oaks (Photo by Gail Simons)
A Rare Breed of European Origin
The European wild pig – more correctly the European Wild Boar (which term covers both the boars and sows) – is commonly called the ‘Euro’ in New Zealand. It is a hardy breed, kept by a number of breeders here, and has been registered by the New Zealand Pig Breeders Association.
All domesicated pigs, even Asian varieties, are believed to have evolved from this European breed.
In spite of the fearsome reputation of the European Wild Boar, domesticated Euros make good pets.
They are born with stripes from nose to tail, fading when about six to nine weeks old. Colours range from yellow-sandy through to red-black. They have long manes and hair in winter with a woolly undercoat. They are great mothers, farrowing twice a year.
New Zealand breeder, John Earney advises that the pork from the Euro is different from other breeds in that even when they are kept in a sty and fed the same as other breeds, the meat is pink when cooked and not white. This pork is a great tasting meat and is sought after by food connoisseurs. Older boars are often sought by Safari Parks.