BIGAME

General

BIGAME is an online platform developed by ARSIA asbl and AWE that aims to collect and integrate various animal health related information at farm level, including data on AMU. Though being principally available to all Belgian farmers, its primary target are Walloon dairy and beef cattle farmers. It’s generally a voluntary system, but its use for registration of AMU by Walloon dairy cattle farmers is obliged in the IKM/QFL/QMK quality scheme.

Data collection

Animal subcategories:  Pigs: sows, finishers, gilts, weaners and sucklers; poultry: laying hens, broilers; veal calves; cattle: calves 0-8 months, young stock 8-24 months, adult cattle.

InputInput is done by the veterinarian. Data input can be automatic (through xml) or manual. The animal occupation numbers used in the calculation of the indicator are obtained from the governmental database SANITEL. The system allows to link AMU to an individual animal in the farm.

Analysis

For Walloon dairy cattle, the dose-based unit of measurement DDDAbel (defined for Belgium at product-level) is used in the calculation of the indicator BD100 (treatment days per 100 days). To calculate the kg animals at risk of treatment, standard weights agreed with the sector are used. A BD100 per month is calculated for cattle, based upon which a yearly average BD100 is calculated per weight category.

Benchmarking

For Walloon dairy cattle, benchmarking (and reporting) is done once a year, based on the average BD100. Consequently, it is done per weight category. ‘Dynamic benchmarking’ is applied: two thresholds are set, recalculated upon every benchmarking and representing the median (P50) and 90th percentile (P90) of the benchmark population. The Flemish (see AB Register) and Walloon cattle farms that harbour the respective categories and have data of good quality are included in the benchmark population.
In addition, 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 antimicrobial class and each colour code in the total AMU in each weight category is compared to the mean percentages over all farms. Also the use of intramammary products is benchmarked to the average of all far.

Reporting

Results are communicated to the farms as individual benchmarking reports once a year. The reports are available through the online portal. Farmers can opt to share their reports with all vets delivering antimicrobials to their farm.