The Cattle Population in India Increased by 18 Percent

The Cattle Population in India

New Delhi: The livestock population in India increased by 4.6 percent over the previous census conducted in 2012, to a total of 535.78 million, the 20th Livestock Census report released by the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying on Wednesday revealed.  There has also been a sharp jump by 18 percent in the female Cattle Population in India. The rise in 2019 is sharply higher than the increase in the livestock population and the increase in the bovine population (cattle, buffalo, mithuns, and yaks), which is just by one percent.

The female cattle population in India is 145.12 million, increasing by 18 percent over the previous census (2012), the data revealed. The total buffaloes in the country are 109.85 million, showing an increase of about 1 percent.

The total milch animals (in-milk and dry) in cows and buffaloes is 125.34 million, an increase of 6 percent over the previous census. The total bovine population is at 302.79 million in 2019. In addition, the total number of cattle in the country in 2019 is 192.49 million showing an increase of 0.8 percent over the previous census.

(Image Courtesy: Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying)

The livestock census was conducted in participation with all states and Union Territories. It is conducted periodically since 1919-20. The enumeration was done both in rural and urban areas. The livestock census covers all domesticated animals and their headcounts.

Various species of animals including cattle, buffaloes, mithuns, yaks, sheep, goats, pigs, horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, camels, dogs, rabbits and elephant, and poultry birds including fowls, ducks, emus, turkeys, quails, and other poultry birds possessed by the households, household enterprises/non-household enterprises and institutions have been counted at their site, the statement said.

Meanwhile, there is a decline of 6 percent in the total indigenous / non-descript cattle population over the previous census. However, the pace of decline of this cattle population during 2012-2019 is much lesser than as compared to the 2007-12 period, where it was about 9 percent. The total poultry in the country, at 851.81 million in 2019, registered an increase of 16.8 percent.

The 20th livestock census figures, released on Wednesday, how that nearly 75% of total cattle in the country are female cows. a clear sign of dairy farmers’ preferences for milk-producing cattle. This also gained momentum in the past couple of years due to the government’s assistance in terms of providing sex-sorted artificial insemination (AI), with the semen of high-yielding bulls, free of cost at farmers’  doorsteps.

The article extracted from The Times of India, October 17th, 2019.