The mission statement for FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) reads, “Protecting Human and Animal Health.” To achieve this broad mission, CVM:
- Ensures animal drugs are safe and effective, properly made, and adequately labeled and packaged.
- Ensures that when food-producing animals, such as cattle and chickens, are treated with an animal drug, food made from those animals, such as meat, milk, and eggs, are safe for people to eat;
- Educates pet owners, animal producers, veterinarians, and the animal health industry about the products we regulate;
- Monitors the safety of all types of animal food for all types of animals;
- Monitors side effects and product quality problems that are reported for animal food, drugs, and devices (like thermometers and pacemakers) once they are sold on the market;
- Carries out research to support our policies and regulatory decisions about animal food, drugs, and devices; and
- Works to make more animal drugs legally available for minor species, such as ferrets and fish; and for minor (infrequent and limited) uses in a major species, such as horses and dogs.
- Leads, coordinates, and manages CVM’s international activities in collaboration with relevant FDA Centers and Offices, as well as FDA’s international regulatory counterparts.
What CVM Regulates
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:
- In most cases, CVM does not regulate vaccines for infectious animal diseases, like rabies and distemper. The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates these vaccines. (Infectious diseases are diseases caused by harmful organisms, such as some viruses and bacteria, and can spread from animal to animal or from animals to people.)
- CVM regulates some flea and tick products 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 (NADA) or Abbreviated New Animal Drug Application (ANADA) number and a statement indicating the drug is FDA-approved. (Note: this information is currently not required on the label of an animal drug, but it will be mandatory beginning September 30, 2023.)