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Genetic background

The Göttingen Minipig was developed at the Georg-August-University in Göttingen, Germany to meet the demand for a non-rodent model with many similarities to humans.

In 1960, Minnesota Minipigs were imported from the Hormel Institute, Austin, USA, and Vietnamese potbelly pigs were imported from Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany. A coloured population of pigs resulted from this crossbreeding.

In 1965, additional Vietnamese potbelly pigs were imported from Zoo Friedrichsfelde, East Berlin, Germany. This crossbreeding resulted in a smaller and whiter population of pigs.

Finally, in 1965–1969, the German Landrace was introduced to develop a white line.

Therefore the Göttingen Minipig is the result of crossbreeding the Minnesota Minipig, the Vietnamese potbelly pig and the German Landrace.

Genetic management is required in order to minimise inbreeding and drift and to maintain the genetic integrity of the population. The genetics for the entire breeding population are still managed in Göttingen and all breeding data dates back to the 1960s when the Göttingen Minipig was developed.

The entire breeding population is found in three physical locations (Dalmose, Denmark, Göttingen, Germany, and North Rose, New York, US). Despite separation into sub-populations, the Göttingen Minipig population is genetically coherent.