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To determine the current status of antimicrobial susceptibility of bacterial pathogens from animals in Germany, the Bff-GermVet monitoring program was initiated as a complementary program to the German national monitoring program GERM-Vet conducted by the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). In the Bff-GermVet program, a total of 1,626 bacterial strains, obtained during a 27-month period (01/2004-03/2006) from 31 indications, was screened for susceptibility against 22 antimicrobial agents and two combinations of antimicrobial agents. Selected bacteria were additionally tested for their susceptibility against additional three combinations of antimicrobial agents and the corresponding single substances. This paper describes the overall aims and the structure of the program with particular reference to the sampling strategy, the methodology for susceptibility testing and the interpretive criteria used for evaluation of the results.