SC Commissioner Weathers: Feed Safety Spotlight for National Pet Month

May is National Pet Month, and that’s a good time to talk about how South Carolina ensures the safety of animal feed, including pet food. Here’s Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.

  • The South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s Feed Safety Compliance Team, which is part of our Consumer Protection Division, ensures that all commercial animal feed products that are manufactured or distributed in the state are safe and nutritious. 
  • Our Feed Safety Team is made up of six individuals, three of which are inspectors who work in the field.
  • They ensure your pets and livestock are safe by reviewing feed labels and ingredients, making sure products and ingredients are properly registered, and through a statewide inspection program.
  • All commercial feed products must be registered annually with SCDA’s Feed Safety Team.
    • This equals about 20,000+ commercially registered animal feed products a year, including food and treats.
  • Feed Safety Inspectors visit feed distributors, manufactures, and retailers to collect samples and inspect products.
    • These routine samples are collected every week by the three Feed safety Inspectors, leading to around 1,000+ samples collect a year.
  • Once the samples are collected, they are taken to the Consumer Protection Division lab where they’re tested for their nutritional content and compared to the claims made on the feed labels.
  • There are more than 500 feed establishments across the Palmetto State inspected annually by these Feed Safety Inspectors.
  • If any issues should arise, such as unapproved ingredients being found in feed, or noncompliance, the actions the Feed Safety Team take vary.
    • Minor violations warrant a certain time-period for the issue to be resolved before re-inspection, while major violations can include stopping the sale or embargoing a product.
  • Overall, our Feed Safety team takes pride in the work they do, ensuring your pets and livestock eat safe.