AB Register

General

AB Register is an online platform established by Belpork, the owner of the Belgian pig meat quality label Certus. It covers approx. 65% of Belgian pig farms and 80% of Belgian pork production. Halfway 2017, AB Register has expanded with poultry, including turkeys, with support of the Belgian quality label Belplume, covering 95% of chicken production in Belgium.

Data collection

Animal subcategories: Four weight categories are distinguished in pigs: sows/boars, finishers, weaners and sucklers. Among poultry, seven animal types are distinguished: laying hens, broilers, laying dams, broiler dams, breeding laying dams, breeding broiler dams, breeding layers and turkeys.
Input: The quality assurance schemes oblige the farmers to use AB Register; however, doing the actual registrations is a task for the providers of the antibiotics, which in Belgium can be vets, feed mills and pharmacists. Farmers have the authority and the responsibility to check the validity of the registrations and can make changes to a limited number of fields. Data input can be automatic (software-to-software) or manual. The animal occupation numbers used in the calculation of the indicator are obtained from governmental databases.
In addition to antibiotics, data on the usage of zinc oxide (ZnO), authorised for prevention of diarrhoea in weaners, need to be registered.

Analysis

The dose-based unit of measurement DDDbel (defined for Belgium at product-level) is used in the calculation of the farm-level indicator BD100 (treatment days per 100 days). The BD100 is an indicator representing the exposure of animals to AMU. To calculate the (kg) animals at risk of treatment, standard weights of the pig subcategories proposed by EMA[1] are used.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is currently only applied in pigs. It is performed with a frequency of twice/year and with a time frame of one year (= the time at risk of treatment of the population at risk of treatment). It is done per weight category, with all farms in AB Register that harbour the respective categories as the reference group (the benchmark population).The AMU as such is benchmarked, by comparing and categorising farms’ results in three zones corresponding to two threshold values [median (P50) and 90th percentile (P90)] of the benchmark population. Hence, a farm can receive up to four benchmark results, depending on the number of weight categories present on the farm.
In addition, also the type of antimicrobials used is benchmarked. Three colour codes of antimicrobials are distinguished: yellow, orange and red, the latter including the 3rd/4th gen. cephalosporins and the fluoroquinolones. The percentage of each colour code in the total AMU in each weight category is compared to the mean percentage of each colour code over all farms.       

Reporting

Farm-level results are communicated to the farms twice/year through an individual report (with the results of all weight categories present at the farm) made available in the AB Register portal as a pdf. Farmers can opt to share their reports with all vets delivering antimicrobials to their farm. The report can also be made directly available for the herd veterinarian. General results are presented at various (inter)national events (e.g. conferences, workshops, study days, press conferences, etc.) and are also summarized in reports for the contributing quality labels.
Example of a report for the farmer with his AB use over a year in fattening pigs and benchmarking result

More information

AB Register (in Dutch/French)

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