Black Alpine Pig

News from the "Fern Eaters" project

At the annual meeting of PatriMont-Switzerland, Anna Jenni, project manager at FiBL, spoke about the results of the first two years (2022-23) of the Fern Eaters project. It is well known that black Alpine pigs like to eat bracken, even though it is actually poisonous. They do not show any discomfort and can be used to suppress the overgrowth of bracken in the Alps. Studies by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) have now shown that the poison is not stored in the body and that the pig products are harmless. A very astonishing advantage of this mountain-suitable pig breed.


The black Alpine pigs - arrived in gastronomic heaven

The bi-monthly magazine "Marmite" - the name is derived from the French word for cooking pot ("la marmite") - is an extraordinary "gourmet magazine" that highlights the trends in Michelin-starred cuisine. The November 2023 issue focuses on pork and in particular the black Alpine pig. Conclusion: the black Alpine pig has arrived in "gastronomic star heaven"!
Marmite issue no. 6, November 2023 (Fr. 16.50);



Our breeder Nina Hitz describes her black Alpine pigs as athletic and elegant. We can only agree with that (Photo Tanja Kutzer).


First breeding group in French-speaking Switzerland

In the mountain village of Chamby, above Montreux on Lake Geneva, at an altitude of 950 metres, the first breeding group of black Alpine pigs with a red boar can now be found at the Ferme la Clairière. After about 100 years, Alpine pigs have returned to French-speaking Switzerland. (Foto Hape Grunenfelder)


Breeding the red variety of Alpine pigs

As already mentioned in the article of 20 May 2022, there used to be deep red Alpine pigs in some areas. It has now been possible to combine red animals from individual matings and thus revive the breeding of this extraordinary colour (Photo: Goldau Nature and Wildlife Park).


Alpine pigs in the open-air museum Ballenberg

As already in the open-air museum Glentleiten in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps, in the nature and animal park Goldau in Central Switzerland, now also the Swiss open-air museum Ballenberg in the Bernese Oberland shows a breeding group of black Alpine pigs in a very spacious enclosure. (Foto Hape Grünenfelder).

Aktuell Ballenberg

Black Alpine pigs at the Swiss Animal Expo 2022

In Switzerland, the ProSpecieRara Foundation presents all rare and endangered livestock breeds at a large exhibition every five years. This year, for the first time, the Black Alpine Pigs were also present and made a convincing impression with a successful presentation. At a parallel lecture event, the renewed development of breeding in Switzerland and the marketing of the products were highlighted.


A masterpiece of line drawing

Created by artist Ingrid Bickel for ProSpecieRara's Animal Expo 2022 in Brunegg


Breeding expansion of Alpine pigs in Switzerland

In mid-May, a supplementary import of Alpine pigs from Austria was successfully completed. After two and a half months, the animals were distributed from the quarantine station of the Goldau Zoo to the breeding farms. One sow remained in Goldau as a show and breeding animal. The import primarily served to broaden the genetic base of Swiss breeding, but also to strengthen the "red factor". As historical documents by Prof. Anderegg (1898) and Johann Jakob Steinmüller (1827) show, red Alpine pigs used to be found in the mountainous regions of Central Switzerland, the Oberhasli and around the Oberalp and Lukmanier Passes, which are now to be re-established.

Rote Schlaege

The former occurrence of red alpine pigs

New map with the confirmed historical distribution according to Prof. Anderegg (Anderegg Felix, 1898: Illustriertes Lehrbuch für die gesamte Schweizerische Alpwirtschaft) and Johann Jakob Steinmüller (Naturgeschichte des gemeinen Schweines und der verschiedenen Racen der Schweiz; Neue Alpina, 1827). It is possible that red Alpine pigs were also widespread in the Leventina and Goms, but there is no written evidence of this.

Karte SAS rot

Urban Camenzind, president of the government of the canton of Uri, buys alpine pork meat


Urban Camenzind, the president of the Uri government, is the first person of his rank to be able to enjoy meat from black Alpine pigs again for a long time. It has been about 120 years since this breed was last kept in the canton of Uri. Now the breed is being re-established. By buying and consuming this meat, Urban Camenzind is actively contributing to the preservation and survival of the breed.

Photo: Urban Camenzind president of the Uri government 2021 on the right and breeder Markus Renner on the left in the flag room of the Altdorf Uri town hall.


«Marketplace» für Alpenschwein-Produkte

Das alpine Netzwerk PatriMont hat einen «Marketplace» eröffnet, der eine breite Öffentlichkeit auf Bezugsmöglichkeiten von Alpenschwein-Produkten hinweist. Die neue Webseite basiert auf Google-Maps. Darin wird mit verschiedenen Icons (Flaggen) und Kontaktdaten auf Hofläden, Verarbeiter und Gastrobetriebe hingewiesen, wo Alpenschwein-Produkte erworben oder genossen werden können. Jeder Betrieb stellt sich dabei auf einer Unterseite mit seinen eigenen Angeboten und Vorzügen vor.


Award ceremony Environment Prize Uri 2021

With his project to run the Zieriberg above Erstfeld with Black Alpine pigs in a circular economy, pig farmer Markus Renner from Uri has won a a recognition prize. We congratulate Markus very warmly!


Old fresco discovered

Fresco in Palazzo Vertemate at Piuro near Chiavenna (Valtellina, Italy). It shows Black Alpine Pigs before 1618. Probably one of the oldest testimonies (photo Dominik Flammer).

Fresco Piuro

Elegant and Elephant

The elegant piglet and its elephantlike mother on the Geissherz organic farm Pali at the Lukmanierpass, Switzerland (snapshot Dominik Waldmeier)


Gold and silver

Alpine piglets of gold and silver color with black spots south of the Hochtannberg Pass in Vorarlberg at about 1700 m above sea level. (Photo Thomas Muxel)


Summer resort on high Alpine pasture

A breeding group of black alpine pig from the Hörnlibergland at 970 m above sea level. Now for summering on Alp Nadels in the Grisons at around 2000 m above sea level. (Photo Susanne Knaus)


Great praise from high gastronomy

Hannes Pignater, chef at the "Adler Lodges" on Renon/Suedtirol, has taken delivery of a whole fattening pig, which he uses from snout to tail. To this he wrote: "We received a black alpine pig some time ago and in the meantime we have a shoulder, legs and back worked and prepared for our guests. Our conclusion is very clear, great! We are very happy to have obtained this meat and would like to continue working with you."


Rest in the favorite place

The breeding group of black Alpine pigs from the "Biohof Pali" farm in Curaglia GR in their favorite place at 1,300 m above sea level (Photo Dominik Waldmeier / Eveline Hauser).


Piglets in Valle d'Aosta

The new breeding group in Valle d'Aosta brings a lot of new blood, bonne chance!


Award for Alpine Pig Salami

Cremona Preis

At the Salami Festival in Lombardy in Cremona on October 25, 2019 the breeding company “La Pecora Nera ”from Morbegno (Valtellina) got the 1st prize for its manufactory salami made from Alpine pig meat. A big success!
The first time at a gastronomically oriented Fair the registered label (trademark) "Schwarzes Alpenschwein / Nero delle Alpi®" was used.


A historical document

A historical postcard from 1922 shows black Alpine pigs on an alp in Château-d'Oex (canton of Vaud, Switzerland)


Finally black Alpine pigs also back in Switzerland

Most alpine pig varieties died in Switzerland about 100 years ago, in the canton of Grisons they survived until 35-40 years ago. Now, after six months of preparation and subsequent two-month quarantine at Tierpark Goldau, four breeding groups have been returned to Switzerland. Difficulties were caused by a lung disease (APP) that is not treated as a disease in the EU. It was a cumbersome selection process to find APP-free animals that met Swiss import regulations. This was only possible thanks to a group of veterinarians who supported us.
The photo shows one of the new breeding groups on the Hörnlihof in 1000 m asl in the Tössbergland.


Alpine pigs now in Vorarlberg

The black alpine pigs move westwards ... Now there is a new breeding group also in Vorarlberg, in the Kleinwalsertal at Riezlern


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