Monitoring programmes under the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999

Find out about the monitoring programmes which complement other food safety controls to ensure animal products are safe and suitable for human consumption.

The extensive pasture-based nature of New Zealand farming systems, the temperate climate and freedom from many of the world’s animal diseases, give New Zealand some natural advantages. These include a relatively low use of most veterinary medicines and agricultural compounds.

Food safety monitoring under the APA

There are 4 main monitoring programmes under the APA:

  • National Microbiological Database (NMD), which tests meat and poultry for specified organisms
  • National Chemical Residues Programme (NCRP), for cattle, sheep, goats, deer, horses, pigs, ostrich, wild animals, poultry, salmon and honey for a very wide range of agricultural compounds and contaminants
  • National Chemical Contaminants Programme (NCCP), which tests for a wide range of agricultural compounds and veterinary medicines in diary products and milk
  • programmes for seafood including the Shellfish Biotoxin Monitoring Programme, which tests principally for algal toxins in bivalve molluscan shellfish (BMS), and testing under the NCRP for finfish

Additionally there is an independent verification programme for dairy products whereby the accuracy of commercial testing is verified.

You can find out more about how each programme works on the relevant pages in the left-hand menu.

Risk management controls under the APA

The APA establishes a risk management system that requires all animal products traded and used to be fit for their intended purpose. The risk management system includes the following types of controls.

Risk Management Programmes (RMPs) – many businesses regulated under the APA are required to operate under an RMP. These are individually designed and implemented by operators. They are evaluated and verified, usually annually, by persons or agencies recognised by MPI for this task.

Risk Management Programmes (RMPs)

Regulated Control Schemes (RCSs) – are provided to manage risks on a national basis when processor-based RMPs would not be feasible, practicable, efficient or economical. RCSs concerned with monitoring are: Contaminant Monitoring and Surveillance, Verification of Contaminants in Bee Products, Bivalve Molluscan Shellfish and Hormonal Growth Promotants.

Regulated control schemes (RCSs)

Standards – the APA provides for regulations and specifications (including manuals) to expand on or clarify requirements under the Act.

Regulations, specifications and notices under the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999

Export controls – MPI issues export requirements for food safety that are either generic or market-specific in nature, and monitors compliance with those requirements.


Other controls – registration and penalties
Under the APA, many types of businesses handling animal products are required to register. These include:

  • exporters,
  • slaughter and processing operations,
  • cutting, packing and dressing operations,
  • by-product premises,
  • export cold stores.

If operators send animals for slaughter that contain residues exceeding maximum permissible levels, under the APA, penalties or restrictions can be imposed on them.