The Mora Romagnola are a breed of pig which hails from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Also known as the ‘Mora’, Bruna Romagnola, Forlivese and Castagnina, the breed once had many different sub-types in the country in the early 20th century and was almost made extinct.
By 1918 Mora Romagnola populations had risen to in excess of 335,000, though following the Second World War the number had fallen to just over 22,000, by 1950. This led to the launch of a conservation project by the World Wildlife fund, while the National herdbook was first established in 2001. In 2007, the breed was first listed as “critical” conservation status by the FAO. Populations have continued to fall in recent years and as of 2012, there were just over 1,000 remaining.
A small/medium-sized breed, the ‘Mora’ also have a long body and are very vigorous in nature.
They are generally dark brown in colour, though they do often have a coppery glow to their colour. They usually have a long head, with forward facing ears, which cover their long snout. Sows tend to have a thicker ridge of hair/bristles on their backs, while the breed have dark grey skin with a rose-coloured belly.
Young animals generally have a red/yellow coloured hair, which becomes darker as they mature. Both boars and sows can reach up to 80cms in height, with boars slightly taller. At full maturity, boars weigh an average of 200kgs, while sows can reach up to 160kgs.
The breed are well suited to the pork industry as they can grow to become quite fat, though they are a relatively slow-growing breed. They are though excellent grazers and are perfectly suited to extensive pig farming systems or outdoor management systems.
Though there were just over 1,000 animals remaining just over 6 years ago, the Mora Romagnola still survives to this day and thank goodness for that. The slow-growing, copper-coloured, rose-bellied, pig breed of Northern Italy, the breed of many names.