Animal Husbandry and Dairying activities continue to
be integral part of human life. As a sequel to the age old practices and
dependence of population on livestock, Himachal Pradesh is endowed with
the large livestock population. Animal Husbandry and Dairying activities continue to be integral part of human life. As a sequel to the age old practices and dependence of population on livestock, Himachal Pradesh is endowed with the large livestock population. According to the 19th Livestock Census 2012, the total population of livestock in Himachal Pradesh is 48,44,431. Out of which 21,49,259 are cow cattle, 7,16,016 are buffaloes, 8,04,871 are sheep, 11,19,491 are goats and 15,081 are horses and ponies population. Poultry population of the State is 11,04,476.
When Himachal Pradesh came into existence, it had only
9 Veterinary Hospitals and only indigenous animals were being reared.
In 1948 separate Animal Husbandry Department came into being and
programmes for increased milk production and breed improvement were
taken in hand in a big way to meet the day to day requirement of
increasing human population and to boost the rural economy. In 1951 up
grading programme of cows was started under the All India Key Village
Scheme and two key village centres at Kotgarh and Solan were started,
where Red Sindhi bulls were located for cross-breeding programme. The
impact of this programme was quite encouraging but the coverage was very
limited. Subsequently, artificial insemination was started in 1954-55
by transporting Jersey Semen by air from Banglore to Himachal Pradesh.
During this period, new cattle Breeding farm was started at Kothipura in
Bilaspur district and Jersey animals received from Denmark were
maintained at this farm where their performance was quite encouraging.
The real break through in the cattle breeding programme was achieved
with the implementation of the Indo-New Zealand Livestock Improvement
Project under which 175 pure Jersey animals were brought from New
Zealand in 1974, which formed the nucleus foundation stock of jersey
herd at Palampur in the University campus. Apart from this, the Frozen
Semen Laboratory was also established in collaboration with the New
Zealand Government and another with the assistance of the West Germany
Government at Bhangrotu , District Mandi during 1974. Both these
Laboratories acted as a pace setter for intensifying the A.I. programme
in the State.