Michigan Dead Animal Dealer / Renderer License Details & FAQ
Who needs a Disposal or Transporting of Dead Animals License?
You will need to obtain a Disposer or Transporting of Dead Animal License if you will be operating a rendering plant, an animal food manufacturing plant, a transfer station for dead animals, or obtaining and transporting dead animals (eg. Dead Animal Dealer). Dead Animals refers to restaurant grease as well as dead bodies, materials from dead animal bodies, or parts of dead animal bodies.
A Transfer Station is an establishment for the collection of dead animals. These animals are typically collected and taken to an animal food manufacturing plant, rendering plant, or possibly another transfer station.
An Animal Food Manufacturing Plant is an establishment at which animal or pet food is produced through the slaughtering, boning, grinding, cooking, canning or freezing of dead animals.
A Rendering Plant is an establishment for the reduction by cooking or processing of dead animals to tallow and meat scrap, cracklings or other items unfit for human consumption.
A Dead Animal Dealer is an individual that, for business purposes, procures and transports dead animals to or from a: transfer station for dead animals, animal food manufacturing plant, and/or rendering plant. You must also obtain a vehicle license for each vehicle which will used to transport dead animals.
Please note that each vehicle that is to be used to transport dead animals must be licensed with the department.
How Do I apply for a Disposal or Transporting of Dead Animals License?
- Review the associated laws and regulations governing the Bodies of Dead Animals Act:
- Review and complete an application (download the license application form here) providing all of the information requested. Be sure to note the destination of dead animals if you will be transporting dead animals. If a section is not applicable, please put a line through that section. (Click here for aid in completing the application form.)
- If you are applying for a Dead Animal Dealer License and you plan to transport dead animals to a facility in another state (transfer station, rendering plant, or animal feed manufacturing plant), obtain a certified copy of the license for each facility in which you plan to transport dead animals that is located in another state. You will need to submit these with your application.
- Submit the completed application, the certified copy of the dead animal facility's licenses (if necessary-see above) along with a check or money order for the total fee, payable to State of Michigan to: Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Animal Industry Division, PO Box 30776, Lansing, MI 48909-8276.
- After your application has been approved and processed, a Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) employee will contact you to verify that your facility or vehicle is ready for inspection. If the facility or vehicle is ready for inspection, a MDARD inspector, typically a Field Veterinarian, will then contact you to set-up and conduct a pre-licensing inspection of the facility
- Upon completion of the pre-licensing inspection, the inspection report is sent to the Lansing office for a manager's review. Once the facility or vehicle has passed inspection and managerial review, a Disposal or Transporting of Dead Animal License will be issued and mailed. Please note that if there are problems found either by the inspector or the manager, you will be given suggestions for improvement as well as a re-inspection date.
- After receiving the license, you may then conduct business as a Transfer Station, Rendering Plant, Dead Animal Dealer, etc. Please note that your license expires yearly on September 30. You must renew your license by September 30 each year or you may be subject to penalties. (In addition, applications received after October 31st are subject to a late fee of $25 per license in addition the appropriate license renewal fee.) You will receive a renewal promptly by mail each year.
How long does it take to process my first-time application?
MDARD strives to provide a timely response to Disposal and Transporting of Dead Animals license applications. Typically it takes 4-8 weeks to receive a license.
Processing may take considerably longer if your application is incomplete for any of the following reasons:
- The application is received without the license fee - a letter and a copy of the application will be returned to the sender. The application will not be processed until the form has been returned with the correct fee.
- Portions of the application are left blank -- a letter and a copy of the application will be returned with to the sender with the blank fields marked. Please note that we must have a business phone number as well as the destination noted of the dead animals if you wish to transport dead animals. The application will not be processed until the form has been completed in its entirety and returned.
- Payment is received without an application. MDARD collects fees for many different types of licenses and fees. Any funds that are sent to MDARD are received initially by the department's finance office. The type of application accompanying the funds tells the cashier to which of several divisions or programs to forward the materials. If there is no application, the money may be forwarded to another division. If the animal industry division receives a copy of the check, the division will send out an application with a letter to the address sited on the check. The application will not be processed until the department receives the completed application.
- If a destination for the dead animals is a dead animal facility located in another state, and you did not submit a copy of that facility's license with the application -- a letter will be sent to the sender. The application will not be processed until a copy of the license has been submitted.
Your license can not be issued until you pass an inspection. As such, your license may also be delayed if your facility does not pass inspection or is not fully constructed. If your facility does not pass inspection, the department will provide feedback at the time of inspection for improvement as well as a re-inspection date.
You can help speed the processing of your application by being sure your application is complete and includes the correct fee; by thoroughly reviewing the laws, regulations, and other documents provided here; and by making sure your facility or vehicle is ready for inspection.
If we have sent in an application, when can we begin to dispose or transport dead animals?
Once you receive your license from MDARD, you may then begin to dispose or transport dead animals. You must not dispose or transport dead animals until you have received your license.
When does my Disposal or Transporter of Dead Animals License expire?
Your Disposal or Transporter of Dead Animals License expires yearly on September 30th. As it is against the law to operate without a license, you must renew your license prior to September 30th. Please note that applications received after October 31st must also pay a late fee of $25 per license in addition to the renewal fee for each license.
How do I renew my Disposal or Transporter of Dead Animals License?
A renewal application will be mailed to all licensed facilities by the end of July each year. Complete the application and submit it to the department with the appropriate fee for the desired license(s).
- Class I/Rendering Plant $375
- Class II/Transfer Station $100
- Class III/Vehicle to Transport Dead Animals $25 each
- Class IV/Animal Food Manufacturing Plant $200
- Class V/Dead Animal Dealer $100
Please note that you must apply as a new facility if there has been a change in ownership/management. In addition, if your transfer station, rendering plant, or animal feed manufacturing plant has moved, you must also apply as a new facility. You may not simply renew your application if any of these changes have occurred. (See "What should I do if there are changes in company ownership, name, or address?" below.)
Is there anything I can do to speed the issuance of my license?
You can help speed the processing of your application by being sure your application is complete and includes the correct fee; by thoroughly reviewing the laws, regulations, and other documents; and by making sure your facility or vehicle is ready for inspection
What should I do if there are changes in where I will be transporting animals or in company ownership, name, or address?
A business is issued a license. If there is a change in business address or ownership, the license does not transfer. As such, the license for the old address/owner becomes inactive. When such a change occurs, the applicant must submit a new application with the new license fee immediately. We will need to conduct a new inspection to make sure that the facility meets the requirements of the regulations. In addition, we will review the requirements with the new owner at the visit. Once the facility has passed inspection and licensure has been approved by the program manager, a license will be issued for the new business location or owner. Once the license is received, the business may then Dispose or Transport Dead Animals. The one exception applies to Dead Animal Dealers. If a Dead Animal Dealer changes their address, they should submit a completed copy of the application reflecting the changes immediately so that we may update our records. A new license will be issued reflecting this change. Dead Animal Dealers that have moved do not need to go through the "new" process again to become licensed.
If your business changes its business name under which it is licensed, but remains under the same ownership and address, please submit a completed copy of the application reflecting the changes immediately so that the license and records can be updated accordingly. You will receive an updated license in the mail reflecting the change.
If there is a change in where you will be transporting dead animals, you must notify us immediately. If your business changes the destination to where it will be transporting dead animals, please submit a completed copy of the application reflecting the changes immediately so that we may update our records.
What do I do if I am already licensed and want to have additional vehicles licensed for my business?
Simply complete the application, including the make, VIN number, and the license plate number for the additional vehicles you wish to add. Submit the completed application and the fee for the vehicles you wish to add ($25/vehicle) to the department. Once the application has been processed, the vehicles will need to pass inspection. Once the vehicles have passed inspection and the program manager has approved the vehicles, a new license will be issued reflecting the total number of vehicles licensed for your company, as well as a sticker for each new vehicle. When it comes time to renew, be sure to renew for all vehicles currently being used by your company.