In human medicine, the defined daily dose is used as a technical measure of drug usage, which is independent of the variations in the potency of the active compound and the formulation of the pharmaceutical product--therefore providing a measure of the relative importance of different drugs. A national system of animal defined daily doses (ADD) for each age-group and species has been defined in VetStat (the Danish national system monitoring veterinary therapeutic drug use). The usage is further standardized according to the number of animals in the target population, acquired from production data on the national level or on herd size by species and age in the Danish central husbandry register (CHR). Statistics based on standardized measures of VetStat data can be used for comparison of drug usage between different herds, veterinary practices, or geographic regions (allowing subdivision by animal species and animal production class, route of administration, disease categories, season and geographic location). Individual statistics are available as interactive reports to the control authorities, farmers and veterinary practitioners by a secure access to the database. The ADD also is used in pharmaco-epidemiogical research and to assist in the interpretation of resistance-surveillance data.