What CVM Regulates
What CVM Does Not Regulate (Common Misconceptions)

The mission statement for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) reads, “Protecting Human and Animal Health.” To achieve this broad mission, CVM:

  • Makes sure an animal drug is safe and effective before approving it. The center approves animal drugs for companion (pet) animals, such as dogs, cats, and horses; and for food-producing animals, such as cattle, pigs, and chickens. If the drug is for a food-producing animal, before approving it, the center also makes sure that food products made from treated animals—meat, milk, and eggs—are safe for people to eat;
  • Monitors the safety and effectiveness of animal drugs on the market;
  • Makes sure food for animals—which includes animal feed, pet food, and pet treats—is safe, made under sanitary conditions, and properly labeled;
  • Makes sure a food additive used in food for animals is safe and effective before approving it;
  • Conducts research that helps the center ensure the safety of animal drugs, food for animals, and food products made from animals; and
  • Helps make more animal drugs legally available for minor species, such as fish, hamsters, and parrots; and for minor (infrequent and limited) uses in a major species, such as cattle, turkeys, and dogs.

Meet Dr. Steven Solomon, Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine

What CVM Regulates

Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Drugs

Information for Veterinarians

What CVM Does Not Regulate (Common Misconceptions)

  • CVM does not provide veterinary advice. If you have a concern about your pet’s health, please talk to your veterinarian.
  • CVM does not regulate the practice of veterinary medicine. If you have a complaint about your veterinarian or questions about veterinary standard of care, contact the veterinary medical board in your state:
  • CVM does not regulate vaccines for animals. Animal vaccines are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 
  • CVM regulates some flea and tick products for animals as animal drugs while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates others as pesticides. If a product is regulated by EPA, its label will list an EPA Registration Number (sometimes written as “EPA Reg. No.”). If a product is regulated by CVM, its label will typically have a six-digit New Animal Drug Application or Abbreviated New Animal Drug Application number and a statement indicating the drug is FDA-approved. (Note: this information is currently not required on the label for an animal drug, but it will be mandatory beginning September 30, 2023.)

Additional Resources

Contact Us