Minipig Models for Toxicology and Pharmacology
There is an increased interest internationally in the use of minipigs as models in regulatory pharmacology and toxicology. This interest has come to the forefront because of the difficulties involved in procuring and using dogs and non human primates as the non rodent species. The development of minipigs has made it more practical to use this species because of the smaller size at sexual maturity. Small size makes a substantial difference in the dosage to be administered of a test substance because of the limited amount of the material that is available. When using farm pigs at sexual maturity, between 4-6 months of age, you would be handling animals >100 kg body weight. A chart of the body weights of common breeds of minipigs available for research is below for comparison.
M. Michael Swindle, DVM, Professor and Chairman, Department of Comparative Medicine, Medical University of SC, Charleston, SC 29425