Wisconsin Commercial Feed Licenses
An annual Wisconsin Commercial Feed License is required for any person or business who manufactures or distributes commercial feed (including: complete feeds, nutritional supplements, vitamin/mineral feeds, premixes, milk replacers, pet food/treats, wild animal feeds as well as other miscellaneous feeds and feed ingredients) in/into Wisconsin. This includes manufacturers or distributors located outside of Wisconsin that have product(s) that are sold or otherwise distributed in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Commercial Feed License is valid for one year (March 1 - Feb 28/29.) Renewal applications are mailed in late January to all current license holders.
New applicants may submit a completed application packet at any time.
A $25.00 license fee is required for each Wisconsin facility that manufactures, labels or distributes commercial feed, as well as manufacturers, labelers and distributors located outside of Wisconsin (with no established place of business in Wisconsin) who distribute commercial feed into Wisconsin; One license will cover all such out-of-state sites.
If your sites are both in-state and out-of-state, the license fee is required only for each Wisconsin site with manufacturing/labeling activity.
If you will be distributing feed products outside of Wisconsin, you are encouraged to contact each state’s feed control official, in order to comply with all applicable state and federal regulations. A list of state and federal feed control officials, as well as other resources is available through the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) website.
- Manufacture - to mix, blend, process, package/re-package or label/re-label commercial feed. *If you are the manufacturer of a commercial feed, you are also the “first to distribute.” This is true regardless of what state your manufacturing plant is located in.
- Process - includes de-hulling, extraction, extrusion, heat-processing, irradiating, kibbling, pearling, polishing, rendering, roasting or steaming. (This list is not all-inclusive.)
- Label - to assume responsibility for a product by way of manufacturing or guaranteeing that product or otherwise retaining proprietary rights to the specifications of that product (Name and address listed on labeling is considered the “Guarantor”/Labeler of the product.)
- Product Label - all written, printed, or graphic matter on or attached to the container in which a commercial feed is distributed, or the invoice or delivery slip for the commercial feed. This includes information presented on company websites, brochures, separate feeding instructions and other material referring to a feed or feed ingredient.
- Distribute - to sell, offer to sell, exchange, barter or solicit orders for the sale of a feed product or otherwise to supply or furnish a feed product to purchasers in this state, whether or not the sales or transactions are made wholly or partially in this state or another state. *"Purchasers in this state" refers to those buyers acquiring feed products intended for animals with an established residence in the state of Wisconsin.
- Commercial Feed - all ingredients or materials used or distributed as a feed or an ingredient in the mixing or manufacturing of feed for animals or birds, except the following:
- Non-processed, whole seeds or grains with an established USDA Grain Standard, and the unmixed ground or cracked products made from them. Examples are whole corn, ground corn, oats, milo, millet.
NOTE: Cotton seed is not exempted.
- Whole hays, straws, cottonseed hulls, stover (dried foliage & stalks), and silage (fermented, chopped plants) when unmixed with other materials;
- Meat and other portions of animal or fish carcasses in their raw state without further processing, except freezing or denaturing.
- Mill Formulated Feed - a commercial feed consisting of a mixture of commercial feeds or feed ingredients mixed on an individual basis by the feed manufacturer or labeler according to a feed formula devised and prepared by the manufacturer or labeler for a final retail customer of the manufacturer or labeler. A feed manufactured using a formula devised by a consultant employed by the manufacturer is considered a Mill Formulated Feed.
- Custom-Mixed Feed - a commercial feed, other than a mill formulated feed, which a manufacturer prepares at the request of a final retail purchaser who does either of the following:
- Provides one or more of the ingredients comprising a significant portion of the commercial feed.
- Specifies the formula for the commercial feed. A feed manufactured using a formula devised by a consultant employed by the manufacturer is NOT considered a Custom-Mixed Feed. A feed manufactured using a formula devised by a consultant not employed by the manufacturer or employed by the purchaser is considered a Custom-Mixed Feed.
For More information on Feed Manufacturing, Labeling, Distributing and Wisconsin Feed Law information, call 608-224-4539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Do Not Need a License if You...
- Distribute only packaged commercial feed in the original packages of a Wisconsin licensee, with that licensee's original label; You must also be able to demonstrate, in the form of receipts, invoices, bills of lading, etc., that tonnage has been or will be paid by another licensee in the chain of distribution (likely the manufacturer or distributor) on all commercial feed products sold.
- Distribute only bulk commercial feed in the form received from a Wisconsin licensee and as labeled by that licensee; You must also be able to demonstrate, in the form of receipts, invoices, bills of lading, etc., that tonnage has been or will be paid by another licensee in the chain of distribution (likely the manufacturer or distributor) on all commercial feed products sold.
- Manufacture or distribute only feeds custom-mixed at the request of the final purchaser at retail, using only feed ingredients obtained from a Wisconsin-licensed supplier. You must also be able to demonstrate, in the form of receipts, invoices, bills of lading, etc., that tonnage has been or will be paid by another licensee in the chain of distribution on all commercial feed products sold or that ingredients used are exempt from tonnage fees.
Licensees are also required to complete and submit annual tonnage reports and pay fees of 25 cents per ton of feed distributed in/into Wisconsin during the previous calendar year. All feed manufacturers and distributors are required to maintain records to adequately demonstrate (in the form of invoices, receipts, bills of lading, payment agreements, contracts, etc.) that ALL Wisconsin inspection fees have been or will be paid, by themselves or another manufacturer or distributor (licensee) in the chain of distribution, on ALL commercial feeds sold in Wisconsin. This also applies to those feed manufacturers or distributors located outside of Wisconsin that have product(s) being sold in Wisconsin.
Tonnage reports are mailed in January to all current licensees for sales made in the preceding calendar year. New applicants need not submit a completed tonnage report unless they are responsible for paying tonnage on feed product distributed in a previous calendar year.
In the chain of distribution for a commercial feed, the one who first sells the feed in Wisconsin, or who first distributes the feed for further sale in Wisconsin is responsible for paying the inspection fee, unless the commercial feed is sold to an Exempt Buyer (see below). If a feed under your label is being shipped to a Wisconsin location from your out-of-state plant (regardless of billing address), you must pay the Wisconsin inspection fee. This is true even though the Wisconsin purchaser may take title and possession of the feed at your out-of-state plant. As the labeler, you would be the first person in the chain of distribution.
Some feed manufacturers located in Wisconsin are classified as “Exempt Buyers”. An exempt buyer is responsible for paying the inspection fees on all commercial feed it distributes. Credit can be claimed by an exempt buyer for its sales outside of Wisconsin or to other exempt buyers. A person or business selling commercial feed to an exempt buyer may claim an inspection fee credit on that feed. The annual exempt buyer list is found in the commercial feed license application packet.
DATCP does not require yearly registration of individual products. However, we do request copies of all labels for products distributed by new licensees and copies of labels for new products sold by existing licensees. The labels are reviewed to insure they comply with Wisconsin labeling requirements. Send labels with application and fees to:
State of Wisconsin
PO Box 93193
Milwaukee, WI 53593-0193
For more information on feed licensing and tonnage, call (608) 224-4537 or email email@example.com.
Pet Food/Pet Treats
A Wisconsin Commercial Feed License is also required to manufacture or distribute pet food or pet treats in Wisconsin. Pet food and pet treats are required to be manufactured and labeled following all applicable Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) according to ATCP 42 Wis. Admin. Code. Licensees are required to complete and submit annual tonnage reports for all feed distributed in/into Wisconsin during the previous calendar year. In most cases, the guarantor is responsible for tonnage fees on pet food manufactured out-of-state.
If you are interested in starting a pet food/pet treat manufacturing business, have questions on marketing products in other states, labeling questions, product handling safety questions or other related questions please visit Manufacturing Homemade Pet Treats.
For more information on pet food and pet treats, call (608) 224-4539 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.