Sangen pigs, a hybrid of three pig breeds (a hybrid of American Landrace and American Yorkshire bred with a Berkshire or Hampshire) and other hybrid pig species from overseas (hybrid boar, Camborough, Dekalb, and Yukkurd) are raised in Hokkaido.
Pork is considered to be the most eaten meat in Japan, as it has become an integral component of home cooking, used in such foods as tonkatsu and shoga-yaki, among others.
Pigs are raised in all parts of Hokkaido, with the exception of the Soya and Nemuro areas, where dairy cattle is more prominent. With the exception of number two producer Naganuma Town and number four producer Ozora Town, most pig farming takes place in Southern Hokkaido near Funka Bay, the Tokachi region and the southern part of Northern Hokkaido.
■Map / Major producing municipalities
Mori Town, Nakasatsunai Village, Toyoura Town, Memuro Town, Naganuma Town, Ozora Town, Asahikawa City, Bie Town, Nayoro City, Kitami City
Hokkaido’s climate is cool and isolated from Honshu Island by the Tsugaru Strait, making it hard for animal viruses and pathogens to cross over. It is also free of Pseudorabies, a condition that causes a high mortality rate in new born pigs.
In addition to its geographic advantages, Hokkaido pig farms have established a system to raise healthy Specific Pathogen Free (SPF) pigs in clean environments, with due consideration given to supplying consumers with safe meat products. In recent years, the Whey Pig Council has been established and along with uniform standards and criteria for shipping whey pork. This forms part of Hokkaido’s initiative to raise high quality brand pork similar to pure Berkshire pigs raised in other parts of Japan.
Pork can easily be purchased throughout the year because it is one of the most popular meats consumed in Japan.