The Belgian supermarket chain Delhaize has announced to stop selling fresh pork from physically castrated boars, as from June 1, 2013.
The retailer says there are plenty of methods to test meat from uncastrated males for presence of boar taint – and subsequently take it out of the fresh meat production line. Producers are allowed to choose either for supplying intact boars or use Improvac, a vaccine that prevents the occurrence of boar taint.
The retailer has put a lot of emphasis on animal welfare, as cage eggs have disappeared from the shops as from 2007. The company also initiatied a project for alternative rabbit housing during production.
Belgian animal welfare organisation Gaia has applauded the retailer’s move.
Delhaize is not the first Belgian retailer to announce this move. Competitor retail chain Colruyt initiated a policy towards castration since the end of 2010. Pork producers delivering to this chain have to have used the boar taint vaccine.
Retailer Lidl also announced to move away from selling pork from castrated male pigs in Belgium.
The theme of castration has been an issue in many North West European countries. The majority of Dutch supermarkets has already moved to selling pork from uncastrated boars, and Germany is going into the same direction.
Two years ago, the EU supply chain voluntarily agreed on a ban on the castration practice as from 2018.