Theme: antimicrobial use and resistance in food-producing animals

Antimicrobial use in pigs, broilers and veal calves in Belgium

  • M. E. Filippitzi
  • B. Callens
  • B. Pardon
  • D. Persoons
  • J. Dewulf


Given the risks associated with antimicrobial resistance and its link with antimicrobial use, available data on antimicrobial use in the Belgian pig, broiler and veal calf production were compared. Allowing for comparison of the data available from three peer-reviewed scientific articles, the unit of measurement for antimicrobial use was the Treatment Incidence (TI), defined as the number of animals per 1000 treated daily with one ‘defined’ (DDDA) or ‘used daily dose animal’ (UDDA). Moreover, extrapolation of farm-level data to national-level data was attempted according to the European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC) methodology, to estimate the amount of antimicrobials used in Belgium per species. Although, among the three species, the highest TI was observed in veal calves (TIDDDA=414, TIUDDA=379), based on the extrapolation, it was estimated that most antimicrobials were administered to pigs (159.4 tons). Thus, the most rapid decline in the total use could potentially be achieved by targeting the pig sector. During the process of data collection for comparison and calculation, it became obvious that there is a need for harmonized monitoring programs.

How to Cite:

Filippitzi, M. & Callens, B. & Pardon, B. & Persoons, D. & Dewulf, J., (2014) “Antimicrobial use in pigs, broilers and veal calves in Belgium”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 83(5), 215-224. doi:

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Published on
30 Oct 2014
Peer Reviewed