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Serving: WI
Holsteins feeding
IT’S THE LAW: All premises where animals are kept in Wisconsin need to be registered by July 31.

State law requires all livestock locations to be registered

Deadline to update and register premises is July 31.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in partnership with the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium (WLIC) is reminding anyone who owns livestock to register the location where animals are kept. This is referred to as premises registration.

According to the department, livestock includes any of the following: cattle and other bovine animals; swine; poultry; sheep; goats; horses and other equine animals; farm-raised deer and other cervids; gamebirds including pheasants, quail, wild turkeys, migrating waterfowl, pigeons and exotic birds raised in captivity; bison; llamas and other camelids; ratites such as emus and ostriches; and farm-raised fish.

Whether you have one animal or thousands, and regardless if your facility is required to be licensed, state law requires any location that keeps livestock to be registered with the department. There is no cost to register, and the information you provide is confidential. The department uses the information to rapidly respond to animal disease outbreaks in order to protect animal health, the food supply, public safety and Wisconsin’s agriculture economy.

Examples of locations with livestock that need to register include the following:

• farms and hobby farms
• backyard poultry flocks
• veterinary clinics with large animal hospital facilities
• stables
• livestock exhibitions, markets and feedlots
• dealers and haulers that keep livestock on their property
• slaughter, rendering and dead animal facilities
• any other location where livestock is kept or congregated

Through July, the department will mail more than 60,000 renewals to current livestock premises registrants. Current registrants must renew their livestock premises by July 31. If you no longer have livestock, you must report this to update your location. The department conducts renewals every three years.

If you need to register a new location, more information is available below and on the department website at its  premises registration webpage

Those who have livestock and do not register their location are subject to fines, and they are not eligible for a state indemnity payment for animals condemned due to disease exposure.

How to register your premises
New registrants can get a paper application from WLIC through the following methods: by going to and clicking on “Premises registration,” calling 888-808-1910 or emailing

If your premises is currently registered, you will receive a prefilled renewal notice sometime between March and July this year. Review your information, and return it in the mail. Due to a high volume of locations that need to be registered, registrations will be processed in the order they are received.

Once WLIC processes your registration or renewal, a confirmation letter with a premises ID will be emailed to you. If you indicate that you would rather receive your confirmation by mail, then you will receive a card with this information. You will need to keep your ID number for future reference, as some municipalities, organizations or events like fairs may ask for this in order for you to participate in activities.

Certain animal diseases threaten not only Wisconsin, but the nation. Through the premises registration database, the department’s Division of Animal Health has a vital tool to help prevent and control the spread of disease. What used to take weeks of going through paper documentation and driving door to door to identify locations and notify owners can now be done in minutes.

Registering your livestock premises supports disease management by protecting the health of all livestock, many of which are used in food production. Some diseases also pose a threat to human health, making rapid response essential to public safety. Having a system with proper trace-back and trace-forward capabilities also provides for a timely response to minimize the economic impact in the event of an outbreak. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Wisconsin’s agriculture contributes $88.3 billion annually to the state’s economy, with the dairy industry contributing almost half of that at $43.4 billion.

Premises registration provides the department with information about what kind of livestock you have, where they are, and how to contact you in case of an animal disease outbreak. The system assigns each location a unique ID number that stays with the location — meaning a change in property ownership will not change the premises ID. Individuals with religious beliefs opposing registration of a livestock premises can submit a request for an exemption. Premises registration is not individual animal identification, though an individual animal’s ID is connected to a premises ID for tracing where animals have traveled.

In 2004, the Wisconsin Legislature passed the law for premises registration. It became mandatory in 2006, making it the nation’s first mandatory premises registration law, and it has since become a national model. The department continues to implement the legal requirement for registering locations, and WLIC provides the registration service.

More information about premises registration is available at the department's premises registration webpage

Source: The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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