When the Rajasthan State came in existence in March 1949, there was no department as such in the state to deal with the animal husbandry sector. Initially Animal Husbandry activities were taken care by the Department of Agriculture. In 1958 the department was separated from the Department of Agriculture. The Animal Husbandry Department thus came in to existence in 1958, along with Sheep and Wool and Fisheries sections
In 1984 the Fisheries Department was separated from the Department of Animal Husbandry making it an independent Department.
Rajasthan has a geographical area of 3,42,239 Sq.Km, which is 10.4%of the country’s geographical area. The total human population of Rajasthan in 2011 is 68.62 million. The rural population is 75.3% and urban population is 24.7% and the population density is 201 per Sq.Km. The livestock population of the state as per 2007 livestock census is 566.63 lacs. The estimate of milk ,egg and wool production was 9548 thousand tones, 671.30 million nos. and 12529 thousand Kgs respectively in 2009-10,
Animal husbandry and livestock is highly potential sector contributing a lot in state economy, especially of rural economy. The potential of crop production depends upon huge investment and weather and meteorological conditions. Comparatively Animal husbandry and livestock is more stable and requires lesser investments. Livestock and poultry have proved to be life savior in many distress conditions, especially in case of drought.
Animal Husbandry is not only a subsidiary occupation to agriculture but it is a major economic activity, especially in the arid and semi-arid regions of the Rajasthan. Livestock sector development has a significant beneficial impact in generating employment and reducing poverty in rural areas. Livestock provides other benefits to the rural sector. Livestock supplies a large portion of draft power for agriculture.
Animal Husbandry contributes about 8% in the G.D.P. of the State . This sector has a great potential for rural self-employment at lowest possible investment per unit. Therefore, livestock development is a critical pathway to rural prosperity.
As per the livestock census of 2007, there are 566.63 lacs animals and over 49.94 lacs Poultry in the State. Rajasthan has about only 6.09% of the country’s cattle population and contributes about 10% of the total milk production, 30% of the mutton and 35% wool produced in the country. Rajasthan is first in Wool production while third in milk production