The Large White Pig, commonly known as the Yorkshire Pig, has been added to the highest priority category of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust's (RBST's) watchlist.

According to the trust, the breed suffered significant decline in numbers in 2021.

The breed used to be extremely popular, and it is thought that virtually any joint in the supermarket today has some degree of Large White in its genetic make-up.

However, in recent years, the RBST said, the breed's numbers have fallen from more than 900 in 2000, to just 125 today.

Several other livestock and equine breeds have seen their outlooks deteriorate in 2021 the RBST said, including: Norfolk Horn sheep, Gloucester cattle and Hackney horse and pony.

However, it's not all bad news, as the trust said that some breeds are unticking their popularity - albeit mildly. These include: Native breed goats, Lincold Longwool sheep, Vaynol and Albion cattle and Exmoor and Dartmoor ponies.

Commenting on the updated watchlist, RBST chief executive Christopher Price said:

“Today’s RBST Watchlist shows that many of our rare native breeds are holding a stable position thanks to the fantastic efforts of RBST members, despite the challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic.

"In changing commercial conditions and as environmental sustainability comes to the fore of agricultural policy, the UK’s native breeds of livestock are increasingly attractive for farming and land management.

“However, some of our native breeds are in pretty dire straits right now. The pig industry has had an awful year and the situation for native pigs is very concerning, with the decline in Large Whites seven of our 11 native pig breeds are now priority breeds.

"In sheep, there has been a significant decline in births of one of the UK’s oldest sheep breeds the Norfolk Horn, so that trend is cause for real concern too.

"If we lose these breeds, we lose not only an irreplaceable piece of our heritage, but also their unique genetic value and their crucial contributions to a future for farming where food production and the environment go hand in hand.

“For our native equines, very low numbers remain of Eriskay ponies, Suffolk horses, Cleveland Bay horses and Hackney horses.

"There is good news in the stability or improvement for the Eriskay, Suffolk and Cleveland Bay breeds, however the Hackney’s effective population size continues to decline and we are urging more people to support the breed’s modern uses.”