According to Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying the 20th Livestock Census report following observations can be made:

  • The release provides key results reflecting the aggregate counts of various species as well as its comparison with the previous census.
  • The total Livestock population is 535.78 million in the country showing an increase of 4.6% over Livestock Census-2012.
  • West Bengal observed the highest increase of 23%, followed by Telangana (22%).
  • The total number of cattle in the country has shown an increase of 0.8 %.
  • The increase is mainly driven by a sharp increase in cross-bred cattle and higher female indigenous cattle population.
  • Uttar Pradesh has observed a maximum decrease in cattle population though the state has taken several steps to save cattle.



  • Given that 95.8% population is concentrated in rural areas access to veterinary services is a major challenge.
  • To mitigate this problem, the Government has identified a slew of measures within revised provisions of Livestock Health and Disease Control programme.
  • Here the major focus has been on Establishment and Strengthening of Veterinary Services – Mobile Veterinary Units (MVU)
  • Until now, the government has been providing doorstep services related to artificial insemination and vaccination to the livestock.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee of Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying has observed that inadequate testing and treatment for veterinary diseases pose a major challenge, especially now with drastic rise in zoonotic diseases.


Antibiotic Resistance

  • Untrained animal health workers have been popular in rural India, this has led to inappropriate administration of anti-biotics.
  • The MVU model will mitigate the issue of anti microbial resistance and is in line with ‘One Health Vision’ laid down by Global Action Plan of WHO.


  • Accessing credit and livestock insurance.
  • Losses due to Mastitis (Mastitis is an inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection)


Way Forward:

The adoption of MUVs will lead to a surge in the employment opportunities for veterinarians and assistants

  • There is a great scope for innovations and intervention by private sector in context of animal health.

Source: THE HINDU.