Petfood, animal feeds, dietary supplements (oral nutritional compounds)

If you import, manufacture, sell or use oral nutritional compounds (ONCs) in New Zealand, the ACVM requirements outlined here apply to you. (Use the left-hand menu to work through the requirements.)

(These products may also have requirements under other legislation such as the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996, the Animal Products Act 1999, and the Biosecurity Act 1993.)

Defining oral nutritional compound

ONCs are made up of animal feeds (including petfood) and dietary supplements.

Because of the differences in risks and the links to regulatory requirements under several pieces of legislation, ONCs are divided into three groups:

  • Petfoods, which are whole diet foods for dogs and cats
  • Animal feeds, which are whole diet foods for all other kinds of animals
  • Dietary supplements, which are mixes of specific nutrients that are given to animals to augment the levels of certain nutrients in the whole diet foods being fed to animals.

Note: ONCs may contain feed additives, which are non-nutrient substances added to the feed of animals to improve the preservation, digestion, colour, palatability, texture, or nutritive value of the feed. Feed additives are only ingredients in ONCs. However, if a feed additive product has directions to feed it directly to the animal for a nutritional benefit then it becomes an ONC in its own right.

If you are unsure of your product’s status under the ACVM Act, we can do a class determination for you. (There is a fee for this service.) For more information on class determination, go to our Overview page (use the left-hand menu).

Definition: agricultural compound

The legal definition of an agricultural compound, as stated in the ACVM Act, is:
... any substance, mixture of substances, or biological compound, used or intended for use in the direct management of plants and animals, or to be applied to the land, place, or water on or in which the plants and animals are managed, for the purposes of:

  1. managing or eradicating pests, including vertebrate pests; or
  2. maintaining, promoting, or regulating plant or animal productivity and performance or reproduction; or
  3. fulfilling special nutritional requirements; or
  4. the manipulation, capture, or immobilisation of animals; or
  5. diagnosing the condition of animals; or
  6. preventing or treating conditions of animals; or
  7. enhancing the effectiveness of an agricultural compound used for the treatment of plants and animals; or
  8. marking animals; and includes
    1. any veterinary medicine, substance, mixture of substances, or biological compound used for post-harvest pest control or disinfestation of raw primary produce;
    2. anything used or intended to be used as feed for animals; and
    3. and any substance, mixture of substances, or biological compound declared to be an agricultural compound for the purposes of this Act by Order in Council made under subsection (2)