A farmer has trained his pigs to dive in order to attract more visitors to his rural home in Hunan Province, China. Pig raiser Huang Deming has connected the animal’s pen to a 10 foot high chute that is raised above a lake. From the age of one month the hogs are made to jump off the chute into the water below.
The gruelling training regime sees the petrified porkies having to jump three times daily with Huang claiming he has made some take the plunge 30 times in one day. A pedometer is used to measure the progress of each pig, with the animal only being fed until they have taken over 2,000 steps and have exercised for an hour.
60 pigs have been trained to dive since last year at the farm in Guanshan Village, Ningxiang County. Not only has the strange exercise regime attracted inquisitive tourists, but it has also dramatically increased the value of the pigs. Huang says that his animals grow healthier and faster than usual, and that constant diving leads to the pork being extremely lean, selling three times as much as ordinary pigs.
Fellow farmer Fan Rong explained that the acrobatic animals were attracting investors from around the area.
"Our pigs look and taste better, and they are much sought after. And there are many people who have come to fix a time for purchase, and two heads of such pigs have been booked in advance," she said.
China produces 46 million metric tones of pork a year, and consumes half the global output of pig meat, according to the OECD. This demand has been increasing rapidly over the past decade as the country’s growing middle classes are consuming more and more meat.
Written and presented by Alfred Joyner