One of the outcomes of November 2010’s UK Trade delegation to China, led by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince Cable, was a £45 million deal to export British pigs. By July 2012, 3,000 breeding pigs had been flown from Manchester Airport to China in Boeing 747s. Up to 900 pigs can be accommodated on a single flight.
The trade deal is benefiting industrial scale pig breeders like East Yorkshire based JSR Genetics. The firm sent 800 pigs on a flight to Gunaghzhou, but there were only three breeds of pigs on board, indicating the reduction in genetic diversity resulting from this type of trade deal. The greenhouse gas emissions from the flights adds to the emissions from passenger flights. China is massively increasing its pork production. Although most of the pork is consumed domestically, the dependence on imported soybeans to feed the pigs. More details in this article at the Stop Expansion at Manchester Airport (SEMA) campaign website.