Belgium’s largest supermarket group is to cease selling pork from castrated pigs by the end of the year.

Pig farms that supply the Colruyt and Okay retail outlets have agreed to stop physical castration and will now use vaccination as their standard procedure for rearing male pigs to reduce boar taint in the meat.

Vaccination is said to offer a number of benefits beyond welfare improvements. Because boars are naturally more efficient, they need less feed and produce lean, high quality meat.

Less feed also means less cultivated land is needed and there is less waste, making the method more environmentally-friendly and more sustainable.