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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

About FDA

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About the Center for Veterinary Medicine

 CVM logo which includes farm animals (horse, cow, chicken, dog, cat, pig) of various colors standing together by a fence with birds above and fish below

As seen on the center’s logo, 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 for use in food for animals is safe and effective before approving it;
  • Conducts research that helps FDA 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.

About the Center for Veterinary Medicine (video)

Meet Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D., Director

What CVM Regulates

Frequently Asked Questions

FDA Basics - Animal & Veterinary

Information for Veterinarians


What CVM Does Not Regulate (Common Misconceptions)

  • We do not regulate the practice of veterinary medicine nor do we provide veterinary medical advice. For concerns regarding the health of your pet, please consult a veterinarian.
  • We do not regulate vaccines for animals. Animal vaccines are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • FDA regulates some flea and tick products for animals while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates others. If a product is regulated by EPA, it will have an EPA Registration Number (sometimes written as “EPA Reg. No.”) on the label. If a product is regulated by FDA, it will typically have the statement “Approved by FDA” followed by a six-digit New Animal Drug Application (NADA) or Abbreviated New Animal Drug Application (ANADA) number on the label. Please see Safe Use of Flea and Tick Products in Pets.