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KuneKune Registry | Which one is Best for You?

Questions and Comments About KuneKune Registry, KuneKune Pig Registry

A KuneKune Registry is a vital organization that maintains accurate records of KuneKune pig lineage, facilitates responsible breeding practices, and promotes the conservation of this unique heritage breed. Livestock registries, in general, play a crucial role in ensuring the purity, health, and sustainability of various animal breeds.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of KuneKune Registries, exploring their purpose, functions, and the main organizations that oversee the registration of these adorable pigs. We’ll also discuss the significance of these registries in agriculture and help you understand which one might be the best fit for your needs.

What is a KuneKune Pig Registry?

A KuneKune Pig Registry is an organization that maintains a database of purebred KuneKune pigs, tracks their lineage, and provides a system for registering new animals. The primary functions of a KuneKune Registry include:

  • Maintaining accurate pedigree records
  • Verifying the purity of KuneKune pigs
  • Promoting responsible breeding practices
  • Facilitating the conservation of the KuneKune breed

Components of a Registry

A KuneKune Registry consists of several key components that work together to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the breed:

  1. Database: The registry maintains a comprehensive database that includes information such as:
    • Pedigrees
    • Breeder details
    • Animal identification numbers
    • Ownership records
  2. Registration System: To register a KuneKune pig, breeders must follow a specific process that involves submitting required documentation and paying associated fees. This ensures that only purebred KuneKune pigs are registered and helps maintain the integrity of the breed.
  3. Animal Pedigree Records: Accurate lineage records are essential for making informed breeding decisions. The KuneKune Registry maintains detailed pedigree records, which help breeders identify desirable traits, avoid inbreeding, and preserve the unique characteristics of the KuneKune breed.

Who are the Main KuneKune Registries?

Several organizations worldwide are dedicated to the registration and conservation of KuneKune pigs. Here are the main KuneKune Registries:

  • The New Zealand KuneKune Association (Founded 1988)
  • British KuneKune Pig Society (BKKPS – Founded in 1993)
  • American KuneKune Registry (Now Known as IKHR – Founded 2006)
  • American KuneKune Pigs Society (AKKPS – Founded 2013)
  • International KuneKune Pig Society (IKKPS – Founded 2022)

When discussing KuneKune Registries, it’s essential to understand the difference between registered and unregistered KuneKunes. Registered pigs have been verified by a recognized registry, ensuring their purebred status and lineage. Unregistered KuneKunes, often referred to as the “Black Market” of the breed, may not have proven pedigrees and could potentially compromise the genetic integrity of the breed.

North America Based Registries

Main Differences between North America Based Registries:

Feature International KuneKune Hog Registry American KuneKune Pig Society International KuneKune Pig Society
Founded 2006 2013 2022
Membership Dues $40 annually $65 annually $35 – $100 annually
Active Members 706 1,466 192
Pigs Registered 43,536 46,581 2,233
Registration Fees Free for litter and piglet notifications Free for litter and piglet notifications Litter Notification: $10, Piglet Notification: $12
DNA Testing Mandatory for proof of parentage Mandatory for proof of parentage Mandatory for proof of parentage
ID Requirements Ear Tag or Ear Notch only Microchips, Tattoos, or Ear Tags Microchips, Tattoos, or Ear Tags
Wattle Requirements Double Wattles Required for Registration Double or None is Registerable Double or None is Registerable
Structure Volunteer Board of Directors Elected Board of Directors Board of Advisors led by a CEO
Promotion Focus Promotes as a meat animal, runs a pork program Non-profit, member-driven, promotes breed Unbiased platform for breeder experience and education
Breed Standard Own standard, wattles and teat count required Follows BKKPS breed standard Not specified
Registration Acceptance Does not accept pigs from other registries Accepts from IKHR, BKKPS, NZKKA Allows non-members to register pigs
Member Involvement Not specified Members have voting rights, Board can’t be liable Decisions made by member vote; Bylaws changed by member vote

International Kunekune Hog Registry (IKHR)


The American KuneKune Registry, established in 2006 and headquartered in Norco, California, embarked on a journey in livestock record-keeping by being the first heritage breed swine registry worldwide to require DNA testing for proof of parentage. As stewards of the KuneKune breed, their efforts were rooted in the conservation and improvement of Kunes, known for their distinctive wattles and docile nature. The registry initially drew on the archives of established herd books from New Zealand and Britain to form its Foundation Herd Book.

Over the years, the registry—which rebranded in 2021 to the International KuneKune Hog Registry (IKHR)—expanded its services globally, standing at the forefront of advocating for the breed’s potential as a sustainable meat source. The IKHR’s history is marked by milestones such as the inauguration of the first litter into the Herd Book in 2006, stringent breed standard updates, and the implementation of the wattle and teat count requirements to fortify breed standards.

The IKHR operates through the diligent efforts of a volunteer Board of Directors, including its founder, maintaining transparency and an unwavering focus on the breed’s welfare.

Key Points About IKHR:

  • Membership Dues: $40 Annually, due on January 1st (not pro-rated)
  • Litter Notification Fees: Free
  • Piglet Notification Fees: Free
  • Active Members: 706
  • Amount of pigs registered: 43,536
  • ID Requirements: Ear Tag or Ear Notch (No usage of Microchips or Tattoo)
  • Wattle Requirements: Must have two
  • Privately owned recordkeeping business maintaining the Foundation Herd Book
  • First registry to require DNA testing for Proof of Parentage
  • Heavily promotes KuneKunes as a meat animal
  • Runs a “Certified Kunekune Pedigree Pork” program
  • Requires wattles and teat count for registration
  • Volunteer-run with a Board of Directors including founder, president, registrar, historian, and show director

American KuneKune Pig Society (AKKPS)

AKKPS Member.png KuneKune Registry | Which one is Best for You?

The American KuneKune Pig Society (AKKPS), inaugurated in 2013, represents a unique blend of passion for heritage swine and commitment to breeder support and education. As the first KuneKune registry established as a non-profit and member-driven organization, the AKKPS serves a dedicated community across the USA and Canada. With a firm policy for DNA verification via UC Davis to maintain breed purity, the society embodies meticulous record-keeping and a clear directive for ethical breeding practices.

Membership within the AKKPS is not just about registering livestock; it encompasses a collaborative spirit among breeders, a commitment to the breed’s multipurpose nature, and a dedication to preserving its lineage. The society maintains a transparent and democratic structure, overseen by an elected Board of Directors, and extends beyond registry services to encompass education and promotion of the KuneKune breed. The AKKPS stands as a bastion of integrity, ensuring that each pig registered not only contributes to the society’s meticulous records but also to the overarching goal of enhancing and safeguarding the KuneKune legacy.

Key Points About AKKPS:

  • Membership Dues: $65 Annually
  • Litter Notification: Free
  • Piglet Notification: Free
  • Active Members: 1,466
  • Amount of Pigs Registered: 46,581
  • ID Requirements: Microchips, Tattoos or Ear Tags
  • Wattle Requirements: None, Could either have wattles or no wattles and still maintain registration
  • 501(c)(7) nonprofit, membership-driven registry for USA and Canada
  • Governed by 7 Elected Board of Directors
  • Follows BKKPS breed standard
  • Requires Parentage DNA Verification (exception: imports)
  • Board of Directors cannot be held personally liable for registry decisions
  • No-acceptance policy for any registered pigs being transferred from IKKPS, will allow pigs to be added to their herd book from: IKHR, BKKPS and NZKKA

International KuneKune Pig Society (IKKPS)

ikkps logo KuneKune Registry | Which one is Best for You?

Launched in 2022, the International KuneKune Pig Society (IKKPS) is the newest KuneKune registry launched by former registrar of AKKPS Kathy Petersen. They currently service KuneKune breeders in the United States but plan to expand to Canada and beyond. With a tiered membership system designed to suit various breeder needs, the society emphasizes accessibility and inclusivity. Membership tiers range from $35 for “pay as you go” registration fees to $100, which includes free registration fees and additional benefits, symbolizing the society’s commitment to supporting its members comprehensively.

At the heart of the IKKPS lies a mission to provide an unbiased platform for breed lineage documentation and to enhance breeders’ experiences through communication and education. It aims to foster an authentic connection between breeders and the organization, advocating for responsible breeding practices underscored by mandatory DNA verification through UC Davis. Run by a Board of Advisors and a CEO, the IKKPS stands apart for its impartiality, promising a member-centric approach that upholds the welfare and lineage integrity of the KuneKune breed.

  • Membership Dues: 3 Tiers – $35/year-$100/year
  • Litter Notification Fee: $10 (only applicable to breeders who pay $35/year membership)
  • Piglet Notification Fee: $12 (only applicable to breeders who pay $35/year membership)
  • Active Members: 192
  • Amount of Pigs Registered: 2,233
  • ID Requirements: Microchips, Tattoos or Ear Tags
  • Wattle Requirements: None, Could either have wattles or no wattles and still maintain registration
  • Newest registry, founded in 2022
  • Managed by non-breeder professionals to ensure impartiality
  • Membership-driven; all decisions made by member vote
  • 4 generation pedigrees with photos
  • Allows non-members to perform registrations
  • Bylaws can only be changed by membership vote

While all three registries aim to preserve and promote the KuneKune breed, they differ in structure, governing principles, and specific requirements. Prospective KuneKune owners should carefully review each registry’s policies and offerings to determine the best fit for their needs.

Operational Aspects of the KuneKune Registry

KuneKune registries play a vital role in maintaining accurate records of pedigrees and lineages while fostering relationships between breeders and the organization. However, managing a registry comes with its own set of challenges.

Roles and Relationships

The primary function of a KuneKune registry is to maintain and register pedigree records. This involves collecting and verifying information about each pig’s parentage, unique identifying characteristics, and ownership. Registries work closely with breeders to ensure the accuracy and completeness of these records.

Breeders rely on the registry to provide a reliable system for documenting their pigs’ lineages and to support the integrity of the breed. In turn, the registry depends on breeders to submit accurate information and adhere to the organization’s rules and regulations.

Challenges in Registry Management

One of the main challenges faced by KuneKune registries is maintaining accurate and up-to-date records. This requires constant communication with breeders and a robust system for verifying and processing registration applications. Errors or discrepancies in records can lead to confusion and potentially undermine the credibility of the registry.

Another challenge is dealing with fraudulent registrations or disputes over lineage. Registries must have clear policies and procedures in place to investigate and resolve such issues. This may involve working with breeders, conducting DNA tests, or consulting with other experts in the field.

Despite these challenges, KuneKune registries play a critical role in supporting the breed and the community of breeders. By maintaining accurate records and fostering relationships with breeders, registries help ensure the long-term sustainability and success of the KuneKune pig.

Significance of the KuneKune Registry in Agriculture

KuneKune registries have a significant impact on the breed’s development and its role in the broader agricultural landscape. By maintaining breed standards and promoting responsible breeding practices, registries contribute to the sustainability and conservation of this unique heritage breed.

Impact on KuneKune Pig Breeding

Registries play a crucial role in ensuring the purity and health of the KuneKune breed. By requiring DNA verification and adherence to breed standards, registries help maintain the genetic integrity of the breed and prevent the introduction of undesirable traits. This, in turn, supports the development of healthy, high-quality KuneKune pigs that excel in their roles as companion animals, grazing livestock, and sustainable food sources.

Furthermore, by promoting responsible breeding practices and providing educational resources for breeders, registries contribute to the overall improvement of the breed. They encourage breeders to prioritize animal welfare, genetic diversity, and the preservation of the breed’s unique characteristics, thereby supporting the long-term sustainability of KuneKune pigs in agriculture.

KuneKune Pigs Breeding

Broader Implications

The efforts of KuneKune registries have implications that extend beyond the breed itself. By maintaining accurate records and facilitating the exchange of genetic materials between breeders, registries support the development of a thriving international community of KuneKune enthusiasts. This, in turn, helps raise awareness about the breed and its potential as a sustainable, multi-purpose animal in various agricultural settings.

Moreover, by promoting the conservation of the KuneKune breed, registries contribute to the broader goal of preserving agricultural biodiversity. As a heritage breed with unique traits and adaptations, the KuneKune pig represents a valuable genetic resource that may hold the key to addressing future challenges in agriculture, such as changing climates or emerging diseases.

Closing Thoughts

KuneKune registries play a vital role in the preservation, promotion, and development of this unique heritage breed. By maintaining accurate pedigree records, implementing breed standards, and fostering relationships between breeders, registries ensure the genetic integrity and long-term sustainability of the KuneKune pig.

As the KuneKune breed continues to gain popularity among small-scale farmers, homesteaders, and pet owners, the role of registries in guiding its development will only become more critical. By adapting to new challenges and embracing innovative approaches to breed management, KuneKune registries have the potential to shape the future of this beloved breed and its contributions to the wider world of agriculture.

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