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  1. Animal Health Literacy

Animal Food Regulations

two horses eating hay

What is animal food?

Animal food is food made for animals. Animal food includes food for all species of animals and covers pet food and pet treats for dogs and cats as well as food for farm animals.

Who regulates animal food?

FDA regulates animal food to ensure that it's safe for the billions of animals in the U.S., including chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, fish, dogs, cats, and horses.

What are FDA's responsibilities regarding animal food?

FDA writes regulations and guidelines for animal food manufacturers to follow when making animal food. These rules help FDA ensure that the food we feed our pets and farm animals is safe and high quality.

FDA is responsible for making sure animal food is:

  • Pure and wholesome;
  • Produced under clean conditions;
  • Free of harmful substances; and
  • Labeled appropriately and truthfully.

What is medicated feed?

Medicated feed is animal food that contains an FDA-approved animal drug. Medicated feed is fed to animals to treat, control, or prevent a disease, or to improve the animals' growth and productivity. This type of feed is especially useful in the farming industry because farmers can, when necessary, medicate an entire herd or flock of animals rather than medicate each animal individually.

FDA is responsible for approving the animal drug that goes in the medicated feed. FDA makes sure that the drug is safe and effective for the animals that eat the medicated feed and that food products made from these treated animals, such as milk, meat, eggs, and honey, are safe for people to eat.

Why is it important for FDA to regulate animal food?

FDA’s regulation of animal food helps keep our animals safe and healthy and food for people safe too!

Where can I get more information?

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