Creole Pigs
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About Creole PigsAbout Creole Pigs

CreolernPigs are a breed of pig indigenous to thernCaribbean nation of Haiti. Creole pigs are well adapted to the ruggedrnterrain and sparse vegetation of Haiti. Their resilience allowed Haitianrnpeasants to raise these pigs with little resources. The peasantsrncharacterized their pigs as never getting sick.

rnrnFor generations, the HaitianrnCreole pig was a poor Haitian family's most important economic asset.rnRugged foragers that coped well in Haiti's tropical climate, Creole pigs wererncheap and easy for peasant families to raise. Beyond meat, the pigs' realrnsignificance lay in their role as a “peasants’ savings bank" - an asset thatrncould easily be tapped into when cash was needed. These darkrnblack pigs were known for their boisterous nature and have been incorporatedrninto elements of vodou folklore and the oral history of the Haitian revolution.

rnrnIn thernearly 1980s an outbreak of African swine fever hit the neighboring DominicanrnRepublic. Officials feared the flu might spread throughout Haiti and to thernUnited States, where it could devastate the pork industry. The United StatesrnAgency for International Development, known as USAID, and the Haitian government led arncampaign, known by the French acronym PEPPADEP,rnto exterminate Haiti's pigs. Farmers who were compensated received pigsrnimported from the United States that were far more vulnerable to Haiti'srnenvironment and expensive to keep. In the year following the slaughter, levelsrnof enrollment in schools were dramatically lower throughout Haiti'srncountryside.

rnrnIn thernHaitian peasant community, the government's eradication and repopulationrnprogram was highly criticized. The peasants protested that they were not fairlyrncompensated for their pigs and that the breed of pigs imported from the UnitedrnStates to replace the hardy Creole pigs was unsuitable for the Haitianrnenvironment and economy.

rnrnInrnrecent years, Haitian and French agronomists have bred a new variety of pigrnsimilar to Haiti's Creole pig. An effort to repopulate Haiti with these pigs isrnunderway.

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