Why is it in the news ?
The Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying under the Ministry of Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying has released the results of the latest livestock census, which provides headcount data of domesticated animals in the country.
- India has been conducting livestock censuses periodically since 1919-20. This is the 20th one, started in October 2018. The last livestock census was conducted in 2012.
What are the Key Results And Changes Since The Last Census ?
- In 2019, the total livestock population is 535.78 million; cattle (192.90 million) is the largest animal group in the country followed by goats (148.88 million), buffaloes (109.85 million), sheep (74.26 million) and pigs (9.06 million).
- Total livestock population has registered a growth of 4.6 per cent over the last census in 2012 (512.06 million).
- However, the numbers of some animals such as pig, yak, horses and ponies, mule, donkey and camel have come down drastically.
- The population of indigenous cattle has come down by 6 per cent from 151 million to 142.11 million.
- Experts believe this could have long term health and environmental impacts because the milk of indigenous breeds has higher nutritional value than that of crossbreeds.
- Moreover, there is a danger of losing these indigenous breeds, which have been developed and sustained by generations from time immemorial.
- It also shows that the cow belt of the country has shifted eastwards with West Bengal emerged as a state with the largest cattle population, leaving behind Uttar Pradesh.
- Tamil Nadu is the leading state in poultry population followed by Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Haryana, Kerala and Odisha. Assam had registered the largest (71.63%) growth in poultry population.