INTRODUCTION:

Quinquennial livestock census is a 100% centrally sponsored scheme. Livestock Census is conducted at the interval of every five year in the entire country at the same time. The objective of the Livestock Census is to collect quantitative information on different species of animals, poultry and other related aspects. The Livestock Census is essential to provide Animal Husbandry Statistic for proper planning, execution and monitoring of the various development programmes undertaken by the department.

In Sikkim the first Livestock Census was conducted in 1977, after joining mainstream with India. The 18th Livestock Census is the Sixth in the series of Livestock Census conducted so far by the State. The complete count of livestock and fowls are made by visiting each and every household in rural and urban areas. The species of livestock usually enumerated are cattle, buffalo, yak, sheep, pig, dog, mules, rabbit and fowl. Enumeration of livestock covered both useful as well as useless animals found living on date of enumeration. The comparative accounts of livestock population from the year 1977-2007 are appended in table with change in percent of growth.
 

Cattle: Cattle are the main animal rear by the people. It has been observed that cattle farming is becoming more and more popular in Sikkim after the introduction of cross breeding programme in late 80s. The cross bred cattle has grown rapidly over by 21.67% in1987-97. The significant growth of cross breed cattle has been also observed in 1997-2007. It has been revealed that crossbred cattle have grown by 74% in 1997-2007. As a result of Cross Breeding Programme the productivity of local cattle has increased. Indegenous Siri breed cattle have declined significantly

Sheep: The sheep population has declined considerably. The local breed of sheep known as Banpala and Gharpala is almost at the verge of extinction. The conservation of this threatened local breed of sheep is an utmost necessary. The reason for declined of sheep population could be due to blanket ban imposed in forest grazing.

Goat: The population of goat has considerably increased in the State. The market for Chevon in Sikkim is tremendous. Farmers do rear the goat and some farmer has taken up goat farming in a big way. Goat has grown by 32% in 1997-2007. Overall 23% growth has been observed since 1977-2007.

Pig: The pig population has rapidly grown in the State because consumption of pork and pork products is very common in Sikkim. The pigs are raised almost by 70% of the population. The distribution of exotic boars has drastically changed the pork production in the State, almost 98% people now rears the cross breed pigs. It is seen that pig population has considerably grown by 100% which is significant growth seen in pig population.

Poultry: In Sikkim every rural family keeps few poultry birds mainly for meeting their eggs and poultry meat demands. With change of time people have now adopted poultry farming as an alternative to income generation. Despite of dreaded disease of poultry prevalent in the country, the growth has not been slow, poultry has been growing in linear progression. The Poultry Mission has truly boosted growth in poultry sector which might lead to self sufficiency in poultry production.