Manufacturing petfood

As a petfood manufacturer, the requirements you need to comply with depend on what type of processor you are and the raw materials the petfood is made from.

All petfood manufacturers

All petfood manufacturers must comply with the requirements for oral nutritional compounds (ONCs) set out in the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011 under the ACVM Act.

The products are exempt from registration, but you must comply with the requirements specified in these Regulations (link below). You must:

  • Ensure that your animal feed or dietary supplement is fit for purpose (Regulation 7)
  • Have a documented system* for manufacturing, follow it 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 oral nutritional compounds in entry 25 of Schedule 2 of the Regulations.

*If your animal feed or dietary supplement contains animal material subject to the Animal Products Act, your Risk Management Programme (see below) could be the documented system for manufacturing if it also addresses the other specific oral nutritional requirements in the ACVM Regulations.

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

Refer to the petfood page of the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines area of this website for more information about what you need to do to comply with these basic conditions.

When petfood is not petfood

If you make claims about your petfood other than nutritional claims, such as management of arthritis, your product may be classified as a veterinary medicine and may require registration. At the very least, you will have to prove the claims.

Refer to the veterinary medicine page of the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines area of this website for more information.

Primary petfood processors

In addition to the ACVM Act 1997, petfood manufacturers who slaughter and dress animals (primary petfood processors) need to comply with the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999 regime. As part of this, they need to operate under a Risk Management Programme (RMP).

Complying with the Animal Products Act (APA) regime

The APA regime for petfood manufacture includes the APA, Animal Products Regulations 2000 and the Animal Consumption Specifications. The following documents help you meet the requirements of this regime.

Operating under a registered Risk Management Programme (RMP)

A revised Petfood Code of Practice (COP) is currently in development. The previous COP linked below may be used for general guidance, but the relevant legislation should be referred to for current requirements.

Also refer to the Risk Management Programmes section of this website for all the general information you need to know about RMPs.

Secondary petfood processors

Petfood manufacturers who don't slaughter or dress animals are known as secondary petfood processors. For the purposes of meeting legal requirements, these secondary processors can be split into 3 categories:

  1. Manufacturers producing petfood requiring official assurances, such as products intended for export.
  2. Manufacturers producing petfood containing animal material resulting from the death of a source animal, such as red meat, offal, poultry or fish. These are known as further (petfood) processors.
  3. Other secondary petfood processors that don't use animal products (except meat and bone meal) in the manufacture of their petfood.

Official assurances required

If you require official assurances, you need to meet requirements under the ACVM Act and the APA. This means you must operate under a registered RMP.

Official Assurances Programme

Further (petfood) processors

In addition to the ACVM Act, further (petfood) processors are required to meet the following obligations under the APA regime. You must:

  • comply with relevant clauses in the Animal Consumption Specifications, unless you are exempt – exemption criteria are outlined in the 2 links below
  • only procure animal material for further (petfood) processing from regulated sources – regulated sources are outlined in the 2 links below
  • have a documented tracking system to be able to show compliance with this.

As part of your obligations, further (petfood) processors are required to list details of their processing operations with MPI. To do this, use the Listing Form AP61.

Other secondary petfood processors

Where no animal products, except meat and bone meal, are used in the manufacture of petfood, only the ACVM Act as described above applies.