Manufacturing pet food, animal feed, and supplements

The requirements for manufacturers of oral nutritional compounds (ONCs) depend on the type of processor and the raw materials used.

All manufacturers of pet food, animal feed, and dietary supplements must meet the requirements for oral nutritional compounds (ONCs) set out in the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011.

The products are exempt from registration, but you must comply with the requirements in the regulations. This means you must:

  • make sure your animal feed or dietary supplement is fit for purpose (Regulation 7)
  • have a documented system for manufacturing, follow the system, and keep adequate records (Regulations 9 and 14)
  • include the specified information on the label of your animal feed or dietary supplement (Regulation 12)
  • meet the specific requirements for ONCs (entry 25 of Schedule 2).

If your animal feed or dietary supplement contains animal material subject to the Animal Products (APA) Act 1999, your risk management programme (RMP) could be the documented system for manufacturing if it addresses the other oral nutritional requirements in the ACVM regulations.

Learn what the legislation requires:

Find out how to comply with these basic conditions:

When pet food is not pet food

If you make claims about your pet food or other ONC other than nutritional claims (for example, saying 'this product can help manage arthritis'), your product could be classified as a veterinary medicine and may require registration. As a minimum requirement, you will have to prove the claims.

Learn about the requirements for veterinary medicines:

Primary pet food processors

As well as meeting the requirements of the ACVM Act 1997, pet food manufacturers who slaughter and dress animals (primary pet food processors) need to comply with the APA. As part of this, they need to operate under an RMP.

Complying with the APA

The APA's requirements for pet food manufacture include the Animal Products Regulations and the Animal Consumption Specifications.

Find out how to meet the requirements for manufacturing pet food:

Operating under a registered RMP

The Petfood Operational Code provides guidance to help pet food operators comply with the requirements of the APA:

Find out more about RMPs:

Secondary pet food processors

Pet food manufacturers that don't slaughter or dress animals are known as secondary pet food processors.

The legal requirements for secondary pet food processors depend on whether they are:

  • manufacturers producing pet food requiring official assurances, such as products intended for export
  • manufacturers producing pet food containing animal material resulting from the death of a source animal such as red meat, offal, poultry or fish – these are known as further (pet food) processors
  • other secondary pet food processors that don't use animal products (except meat and bone meal) in their pet food.

Manufacturing for export

There are no ACVM legal requirements for export-only ONCs, but these products must be kept separate from products to be sold in New Zealand.

If you want to export ONCs, you may need to meet certification requirements for the importing country. Find out about these requirements:

There may also be requirements under the APA if the exported product requires official assurances.

Producers requiring official assurances 

If you require official New Zealand assurances, you need to meet requirements under the ACVM and APA Acts, including operating under a registered RMP. 

Learn more about official assurances:

Further (pet food) processors

As well as the ACVM Act, further (pet food) processors are required under the APA to:

  • comply with relevant clauses in the Animal Consumption Specifications (unless they are exempt) 
  • only procure animal material from regulated sources 
  • have a documented tracking system to show compliance with the requirements.

Read about regulated sources and the criteria for exemption:

Further (pet food) processors are also required to provide MPI with details of their processing operations by completing this form:

Other secondary pet food processors

If no animal products except meat and bone meal are used in the manufacture of pet food, only the requirements of the ACVM Act apply.

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