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Tiny slivers of ear tissue snipped from hours-old piglets offer valuable clues for the team at Best Genetics Group (BGG) as it strives to improve the genetics of China's hog herd to produce cheaper meat for the world's top pork consumer.

Breeding pigs that have larger litters, reach slaughter weight quicker and require less feed can make a big difference in a market producing almost 700 million hogs a year.

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