Using veterinary medicines

Find out about using veterinary medicines. Topics include research, testing, and teaching organisations (RTTOs), using veterinary medicines on your own animals, and how to deal with adverse events.


When deciding what product to use, you should follow the risk management-based product use cascade, with number 1 as your first choice:

  1. On-label use of a NZ-authorised veterinary product
  2. Off-label use of a NZ-authorised veterinary product
  3. Off-label use of a NZ-authorised (Medsafe) human product
  4. Import of an overseas product (veterinary product preferred but human product acceptable). You need special circumstances approval to import these products. Use this form and guideline:
  5. Use of a compounded veterinary preparation (in accordance with entry 9 Schedule 2, ACVM (Exemptions and Prohibited Substances) Regulations 2011) See below.


If you are compounding a veterinary medicine, you need to follow a documented system. Use this guideline:

You may also need to search the database for currently registered veterinary medicines:

Residues and withholding period information

If you want information on using veterinary medicines in food-producing animals, read the following:

Classification of veterinary medicines

Registered veterinary medicines all have conditions placed on their registration to manage risks. To see these conditions, check the ACVM product register.

For detailed information read:

Authorising purchase and use

A "restricted veterinary medicine" (RVM) is registered with extra restrictions on its sale, purchase, and use. If you are a veterinarian with a current practising certificate issued by the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ), you are recognised to issue veterinary authorisations for the purchase and use of RVMs.

For more information, read:

This document provides guidelines for issuing robust veterinary operating instructions (VOIs) for non-veterinarians to use for RVMs (including RVMs for velvet antler removal) or veterinary medicines that are exempt from registration subject to veterinary control.

If something goes wrong

Use the following resources to let us know about an adverse event or unexpected outcome involving a registered veterinary medicine.

If an adverse event occurs with an animal feed, please notify us using this form: 

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