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.

  1. 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 ?

  1. 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).
  2. Total livestock population has registered a growth of 4.6 per cent over the last census in 2012 (512.06 million).
    1. However, the numbers of some animals such as pig, yak, horses and ponies, mule, donkey and camel have come down drastically.
  3. The population of indigenous cattle has come down by 6 per cent  from 151 million to 142.11 million.
    1. 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.
    2. Moreover, there is a danger of losing these indigenous breeds, which have been developed and sustained by generations from time immemorial.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.