India has vast resource of livestock and poultry, which play a vital role in improving the socioeconomic conditions of rural masses. India ranks first in respect of buffalo, 2nd in cattle and goats, 3rd in sheep, 4th in ducks, 5th in chickens and 6th in camel population in the world. The livestock population supports Agricultural Labourers, Small and Marginal farmers, rural women folk, Agro based Industries, Dairy products, Milk Plants, Fertilizer and pesticides, Skin and wool products etc.
In view of the importance of Livestock sector to the National economy and considering the short span of reproductivity and life of domestic animal, it was decided by the Government to conduct the Livestock Census. The first Livestock Census was conducted during 1919-1920 and since then it is being conducted by all States/UTs in India. So far 18 such Censuses have been conducted and the latest one is 18th Livestock Census in the series with 15/10/2007 as the date of reference.