What is IPEMA?

IPEMA, Innovative Approaches for Pork Production with Entire Males is a COST action (CA 15215) supported by the European Union.

The aim of the COST action IPEMA is to find general, region-specific or chain-specific solutions to facilitate the development of ALTERNATIVES TO SURGICAL CASTRATION OF PIGLETS:

  • Raising entire males
  • Immunocastration.

We are looking for integrated solutions taking into account Meat quality (Boar taint and other meat quality issues), Animal welfare, Management and production costs, Acceptance by stakeholders, consumers and citizens.

Our overall objectives are

  • To coordinate research to increase efficiency
  • To fill knowledge gaps between different areas in Europe as well as between science and stakeholders

Click here to know more about IPEMA



IPEMA Publications

The IPEMA publications are available here

For some of them, summaries in national languages are available



News  >

IPEMA Webinar, September 15, 2020: Practical solutions to the issue of piglet castration.

The videos of the presentations given during the webinar (+ Q&A + panel discussion) are available at this LINK

1.Overviews of issues and solutions

2.Breeding and Genetics


4.Management and Housing

5.Innovations in the processing industry and products development

6.Innovation in Grading and Meat Quality control Systems

7.Consumer and market attitudes

Answers to the questions asked prior to and during the webinar organized by IPEMA

The videos of the WG presentations are available at this LINK


click here for ENGLISH VERSION

click here for FRENCH VERSION

click here for SPANISH VERSION

click here for CATALAN VERSION

click here for CROATIAN VERSION

click here for SERBIAN VERSION

click here for SWEDISH VERSION

click here for ITALIAN VERSION

click here for UKRAINIAN VERSION

click here for SLOVENIAN VERSION

click here for CHECK VERSION

click here for GERMAN VERSION


click here for DUTCH VERSION


IPEMA webinar: Practical solutions to the issue of piglet castration

15th September 2020, 10:00 - 12:00 CEST

Free registration. https://app.sli.do/event/gwwa4ut7/live/polls

The IPEMA group worked together for 4 years within a COST action funded by the EU In this webinar, scientists representing the IPEMA group provide the newest science based developments and stakeholders debate about the current status and future Also your questions will be answered by the IPEMA scientist, online or during the webinar



Issues for farmers, slaughterhouses, meat processors, retailers, consumers and policy makers.

How can we manage pork quality at production level, at slaughter and processing? How can we manage animal welfare? Is the market ready? And what about the consumers?

By Ulrike Weiler (D), Michel Bonneau (F), Catherine Larzul (F), Giuseppe Bee (CH), Maria Font I Furnols (ES), Martin Š krlep (SL) SL), Eberhard von Borell (D), GéBackus (NL), Marijke Aluwé (B)


Moderated by Daniel Mörlein (D) and Gé Backus (NL)

11:15 - 12:00 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Based on a selection of questions that we received from you via the Padlet platform

Registration is free, but mandatory.


Want to know more?

Have a look at the movies summarising the main pros & cons and announcing this webinar.

Official PDF Invitation


Latest publication:


The IPEMA would like to announce the publication of :

1.Fact sheet: Pork production with entire males

2. Fact sheet: Pork production with immunocastrates

These fact sheets were published in August 2019 by the COST action IPEMA Core Group (Marijke Aluwe, Ge Backus, Giuseppe Bee, Michel Bonneau, Eberhard von Borell, Meta Candek-Potokar, Olena Doran, Maria Font-i –Furnols,  Catherine Larzul,  Martin Škrlep, Igor Tomasevic, Liliana  Tudoreanu, Mandes Verhaagh,  Ulrike Weiler). Translations into the national languages of the countries participating in the COST action IPEMA will follow.

Fact sheets in national languages available at http://www.ca-ipema.eu/papers 


Sustainability of Pork Production with Immunocastration in Europe

1Department of Behavioral Physiology of Livestock, Institute of Animal Science, University of Hohenheim, Garbenstraße 17, 70599 Stuttgart, Germany
2ILVO (Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food), Scheldeweg 68, 9090 Melle, Belgium
3Department of Feeding and Nutrition—Physiology, Environment, and Genetics for the Animal and Livestock Systems, Institut national de la recherche agronomique, Agrocampus Quest, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France




All the presentations given during the meeting can be downloaded HERE.


We are pleased to inform you that the publication of the abstracts presented in Oeiras and Dubrovnik is now available.

Volume 9, Special Issue s1 (Proceedings of meetings held by the Cost action CA15215 IPEMA Innovative Approaches for Pork Production with Entire Males and Immunocastrates) is now available online


CALL TO PARTICIPATE IN A CONSUMER SENSORY TRIAL "How do consumers appreciate boars, barrows and immunocastrates?"

Are you willing to perform a consumer trial to evaluate the sensory appreciation of meat from boars, barrows and immunocastrates and consumer attitudes on these alternatives? Timing is January/February 2019.

For more information download official call.

Contact person: Marijke Aluwé <Marijke.Aluwe@ilvo.vlaanderen.be>


Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystem Nexus in the Mediterranean - Seeking examples of best practices

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) and the Global Water Partnership  for the Mediterranean (GWP-Med) have joined forces to address the complex nexus between the water, energy, food and ecosystem sectors in the Mediterranean region. More info can be found here.

Download the list of feed ingredients with boar taint reducing capacity recently published by the IPEMA Work group on Nutrition.

IPEMA would like to congrat IRTA on a successfull organisation of traininig school on detection of boar taint

Monells (Girona; Spain) on 8-10 October 2018

IPEMA would like to share a Joint Call pre-announcement for ERA-NET Cofund SusAn, FACCE ERA-GAS and ICT-AGRI2

(Call on “Novel technologies, solutions and systems to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in animal production systems).

Information for this call can be found on:




IPEMA organises a training school on detection of boar taint in Monells (Girona; Spain) on 8-10 October 2018. Registration is closed.
IPEMA co-organised a full day symposium on Monday 27th August 2018, within the programme of the 69th Annual meeting of the EAAP in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

The oral and poster presentations given during our last annual meeting in Oeiras (Portugal) on 8th-9th February can be downloaded here.  Click to see photos of the event

The results from the CAMPIG project have been recently published. Summaries in Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, French and Spanish. Free access to the paper until 27th January 2018.

A paper from the CASTRUM project is available here (open access and summaries in 22 national languages)

New page on the website listing the IPEMA publications. For some publications summaries in national languages are available

IPEMA organised a training school in Ljubljana, Slovenia (20th-22nd November 2017)

IPEMA organised an industry meeting in Cluj, Romania (29th September 2017)

A leaflet to introduce COST action IPEMA


Consumer acceptance of minced meat patties from boars in four European countries

M. Aluwé,M. Aaslyng, G. Backus, M. Bonneau, P. Chevillon, J.-E. Haugen, L. Meier-Dinkel,...

Potential sensitivity of pork production situations aiming at high-quality products to the use of entire male pigs as an alternative to surgical castrates

M. Bonneau, M. Čandek-Potokar, M. Škrlep, M. Font-i-Furnols, M. Aluwé, The Castrum...

Download this paper


Join us in IPEMA

To better disseminate the existing and future knowledge and know-how to all those who can make a profitable use of it, IPEMA seeks to increase its membership

  • by attracting new members from Eastern Europe and other neighbouring countries.
  • by including more relevant stakeholders of the pork production chains, including producer representatives, the industry, NGOs and governmental bodies

Membership is opened to institutions and organisations located in one of the countries included in this list. Institutions from other countries may also apply but they cannot be financially supported.

To apply for IPEMA membership, send us an email to explain who you are and why you are interested in joining us



Short Term
Scientific Missions


You want to apply to a STSM?

You want to propose becoming a Host Institution for a STSM?


Click here



Future events

7th-8th March 2019: Our annual meeting in Belgrade, Serbia

8th-10th October 2018: IPEMA organises a training school on boar taint detection in Monells (Girona), Spain

 Past events

8th-9th February 2018: Our annual meeting in Oeiras, close to Lisbon, Portugal

20th-22nd November 2017: IPEMA organised a training school in Ljubljana, Slovenia

29th September 2017: IPEMA co-organised an industry meeting in Cluj, Romania

7th September 2017: IPEMA representatives met the expert group on piglet castration in Brussels

30th August 2017: IPEMA co-organised a scientific session at EAAP 2017 in Tallinn

23rd-24th February 2017: Our first annual meeting in Prague

Members and Participants


The members of the Management Committe of IPEMA
are listed here

An extended list of people participating in the activities of IPEMA is available here: Participants