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.
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:
- 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.)
- Contact CVM
- CVM Strategic Human Capital Plan Fiscal Years 2017-2021 (PDF - 1.6MB)
- Working at CVM
- CVM Recruitment Plan 2016-2020 (PDF - 779KB)