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Animal Feed Label Requirements

Labels of your products must be submitted with any first-time application for a license.

Purpose of a Feed Label

Feed labels:

  • Allow consumers to choose products that meet their needs.
  • Contain necessary information to determine if the product will meet the animals' nutritional needs.
  • Tell the buyer how to use the product properly for maximum benefits and results.

The uniformity provided by requiring that certain information appear on all labels also helps to prevent unfair competition between feed companies.

Label Requirements for Feed sold in bags or other containers:

While certain types or categories of feed, e.g. pet food, or feeds containing non-protein nitrogen, may have additional requirements, the following basic information must appear on every commercial feed sold in Michigan in a bag or other container, except for customer-formula feeds, and must be legibly printed or written. It may appear on the bag or container itself or on an attached tag or label:

  • Net weight of the contents;

  • The product name and brand name, if any;

  • The name and address of the licensee.
    Make sure that the name and address on the label are exactly the same as the one used on the license application; see: License Requirements
  • "Guaranteed Analysis" of the feed, stated in terms established by regulation as necessary to advise the user as to the feed's composition or to support claims made in the labeling. 
    The guarantees must be based on laboratory methods published by the AOAC International
  • Complete listing of all ingredients used in the feed.
    They must be listed using the official AAFCO defined ingredient name or the common or usual name of the ingredient, if it is not so defined. Examples of acceptable common or usual names are those for which there is a regulation establishing the ingredient as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) or as a food additive approved for use in animal feed;
  • Adequate directions to provide for the safe and effective use of those feeds containing drugs or other feeds specified in the regulations;

  • Any other precautionary statements necessary for the safe and effective use of commercial feeds;

  • The date of manufacture, processing, packing, or re-packing, or a code representing the actual date or one that makes it possible to segregate specific lots or batches of feed.

Label Requirements for Feed sold in bulk:

A label containing the same information required for feed sold in bags or other containers is required for commercial feed sold in bulk. Instead of being placed on the bag or container, the label must accompany every single bulk shipment of the feed and be supplied to the purchaser at the time of delivery.

 Label Requirements for Customer-formula feeds:

A document, which includes the following information, must be supplied to the purchaser of a customer-formula feed at the time of delivery:

  • The name and address of the mixer;

  • The name and address of the purchaser;

  • The date of delivery;

  • The product name and brand name, if any, and the number of pounds of each commercial feed (e.g. soybean meal, base mix, vitamin and/or mineral mix) used in the mixture and the name and number of pounds of the other ingredients (e.g. corn, oats, salt, molasses) added;

  • Adequate directions to provide for the safe and effective use of those feeds containing drugs or other feeds specified in the regulations;

  • Any other precautionary statements necessary for the safe and effective use of commercial feeds.

Typically, a delivery ticket or invoice is used to provide this information with a customer-formula feed.

For more about the requirements concerning label format, expressing guarantees, and any additional special labeling requirements, refer to the Commercial Feed Law.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has several general labeling resources to assist you:

  • Non Pet Food Label and Design Format Guide

  • The Business of Pet Food is an excellent resource on how to start a pet food business. This site includes licensing, labeling, reporting, and testing information.

    Truth in Labeling - Animal health and feeding

    • Pet Food and Equine Supplements


Related Content
 •  Commercial Animal Feed License Requirement Q & A
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