About us

From an agricultural enterprise with production of conventional pigs to a leading international supplier of microbiologically defined minipigs for biomedical research.



Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs A/S was founded in 1993 by Mr. Lars Ellegaard, to supply scientists in biomedical research with a better non-rodent animal model, than what was already available. Such an animal model should have many similarities to humans, a high-quality health standard, well-defined genetics, and be small and easy to handle.

In 1969, the George-August University in Göttingen, Germany had finalized the development of such an animal model and named it Göttingen Minipigs. 


Did you know...

The development of Göttingen Minipigs were finalised in 1969 from the George-August University in Göttingen, Germany?

Learn more about their
genetic foundation.

First delivery of Göttingen Minipigs

How it all began

Minipig awareness

In 1971 the SPF-system was established in Denmark, and Lars Ellegaard, a breeder of conventional pigs, decides to rederivate his herd to SPF status. After a while, he receives an enquiry for SPF pigs from Novo Nordisk for insulin research. However, it turns out that the pigs grow too fast and are difficult to handle, so they request a minipig instead. Lars Ellegaard learns about the new minipig species developed in Göttingen, which is the smallest known minipig breed in Europe. He enters into an agreement with the University and starts importing Göttingen Minipigs for production and sales to the Scandinavian markets.

Collaboration with the University in Göttingen

With his growing understanding of the industry's demands, Lars Ellegaard creates a new business model, which raises the bar significantly regarding expectations to health status and breeding. He enters new negotiations with the university with the aim of separating commercial production from genetic management. In 1991-92 Lars Ellegaard obtains exclusive rights for global production, sale, and distribution of Göttingen Minipigs, while the university in Göttingen is in charge of genetic management. Hence, in 1993 the company Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs is established.

Establishment of health status

To ensure a high health status, a breeding barrier is constructed and is ready to receive its new inhabitants in 1993. The barrier has a comprehensive list of installations ensuring a clean, bio-secure environment for the minipigs such as filtered air intake, irradiation of incoming water, slight positive pressure in case of leakage, and a procedure for the staff involving showering and complete change of clothes.

36 pregnant sows are imported from the University in Göttingen to create the foundation of the new breeding strategy. The sows undergo caesarean sections under sterile conditions, and the around 230 new-born piglets create the basis for the herd still in breeding today.


Did you know...

To emphasise the importance and quality of Göttingen Minipigs' health status, animal welfare, working environment and standardised production, Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs applies for the AAALAC accreditation in 1998.

The accreditation is received that same year and has been maintained ever since.