Climate change is making pigs skinnier, which could mean more expensive pork

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A new report claims higher temperatures mean hogs produce less protein, which could result in pricier pork – Pork is the most widely consumed animal protein in the world. Representing more than 36 per cent of global meat-eating, a hit to production could have devastating effects. As a new Scientific American report suggests, a warming planet may result in skinnier pigs that produce less meat. The potential outcome: a future where pork is scarce and strips of bacon will cost you dearly.

The National Pork Board in the U.S. has been monitoring the effect of high temperatures on pigs since 2013, according to Scientific American, due to the possible consequences for a US$20 billion industry.

Swine are particularly vulnerable to hot weather: they wallow in cool mud or water because their sweat glands don’t effectively regulate body temperature. Studies have shown that when the animals are exposed to temperatures in excess of 25 degrees Celsius, they produce less protein, with the added drawback of decreased fertility.

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Laura Brehaut – National Post – September 25, 2018.

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