If you manufacture, sell, export or import petfood, this page provides an introduction to the food safety requirements you need to meet.

Defining petfood

A pet is generally considered to be an animal, typically one which is domestic or tame, kept for pleasure or companionship. As a result, petfood is generally considered to be a food for these animals. However, under the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999, petfood has a narrower definition of being animal product intended for consumption by cats or dogs. This section of the website uses this narrower definition.

Petfood requirements

There are 2 pieces of legislation that are relevant to the import, manufacture, commercial sale and export of this type of petfood:

  • Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act 1997
  • Animal Products Act (APA) 1999.

For more information on the specific petfood requirements you need to comply with, refer to the pages below that apply to your situation. These are based on the activity you are undertaking. Use the menu on the left to find your way around.

  • Manufacturing petfood
  • Selling petfood in New Zealand
  • Exporting petfood
  • Importing petfood into New Zealand

Other types of animal feed

If you manufacture feed for animals other than cats and dogs, or which does not contain animal product, this is still classified as an agricultural compound. You need to comply with the requirements for oral nutritional compounds (ONC), which is a subset of agricultural compounds, as set out in the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011 under the ACVM Act.

New Zealand Legislation: ACVM (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances Regulations 2011) (External website)

Refer to the petfood, animal feeds and supplements page of the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines area of this website for more information about the requirements you may need to meet for animal feed.

Petfood, animal feeds & supplements