09 March 1998
Research project checks out "clever" pigs
BRISTOL Universitys department of clinical veterinary science has launched a £200,000 research programme to see if pigs deserve their reputation as the brains of the farmyard.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is funding the
three-year study. Some 80 pigs will take part. They will be commercially-bred hybrids of the type commonly reared by farmers for meat.
Pigs intellectual reputation earned a boost with the recent adventures of
the Tamworth Two who gave their minders the slip at a Wiltshire abattoir.
Scientists in the United States claim to have trained pigs to play computer
games. Farmers are well acquainted with the ability of pigs to master the
automatic feeding systems installed on most farms and their ingenuity in beating the systems to get extra rations.
- The Times 09/03/98 page 7, page 23 (Leader)