At the time of integration (1-7-49) of Travancore and Cochin, a separate Veterinary Department was in existence in Cochin state, while Animal Husbandry activity was a part of Agricultural Department in Travancore state. The cattle in those days were mostly non descript desi varieties with poor milk production. At the time of integration, there were 22 Veterinary Hospitals and 10 Veterinary Dispensaries in Travancore area and there were 12 Veterinary Hospitals and 12 Veterinary Dispensaries and 12 Stockmen Stations in Cochin area. 13 Veterinary Surgeons and a few Veterinary Inspectors managed these institutions.
Artificial Insemination facilities were introduced in selected areas with the establishment (February 1952) of Key Farm Centres (ICAR) at Trivandrum, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Ollukkara, using semen of Sindhi Breed. Grading up of local cows with Sindhi and buffaloes with Murrah had been the breeding policy in vogue at that time.
Following institutions were in existence at the time of formation of Kerala state on1/11/1956:
Veterinary Hospitals – 39.
Veterinary Dispensaries and Veterinary Dispensaries manned by Veterinary Surgeons – 12
Touring billets manned by Veterinary Surgeons – 2
Veterinary Dispensaries and Stockmen stations were manned by – 43 Stockmen.
The majority of livestock population in the state is concentrated in villages. Mostly peasants and agricultural laborers are engaged in cattle rearing and allied activities. Hence any development in the Animal Husbandry sector will strengthen the rural economy. About 10% of the Gross Domestic Product of the state is contributed by this sector.
Milk, egg and meat are the principal primary products of Animal Husbandry in Kerala. This sector can also contribute its share to the industrial development of the state by supplying industrial products like hide, skin etc.
Protective and promotional activities of the Animal Husbandry Department are conducted through various institutions such as Veterinary Dispensaries, Veterinary Hospitals, Veterinary Poly Clinics, District Veterinary Centres, Intensive Cattle Development Projects, and ICDP Sub Centres etc.
The Panchayat Raj Act came into existence on 2nd October 1995 as per GO (P) No.189/95 dated 18/9/1995 and most of the institutions of Animal Husbandry Department were handed over to Grama Panchayats, Gilla Panchayats, Block Panchayat, Municipalities and Corporations.
The following institutions were handed over to Jilla Panchayats
- District Animal Husbandry Office and District Veterinary Centres
- Regional Artificial Insemination Centres
- Mobile Farm Aid Units
- Clinical Laboratories and Mobile Veterinary Hospitals
- Pig Breeding Units
- Livestock Farms except District Livestock Farm, Kudappanakkunnu
- Poultry Farms of Kottayam, Idukki, Malappuram and Kozhikode Districts
- Goat Farms at Attappadi and Komeri
Calf Feed Subsidy Scheme, ICDP Sub Centres, Veterinary Dispensaries, Veterinary Hospitals were handed over to Grama Panchayat and Veterinary Poly Clinics functioning in Grama Panchayats were handed over to Block Panchayats.ICDP Sub Centres, Veterinary Hospitals and Veterinary Poly Clinics situated in Municipal and Corporation areas were handed over to Municipalities and Corporations respectively.
District Livestock Farm, Kudappanakkunnu; Jersey Farm, Vithura; Jersey Farm Extension Unit, Palode; and Buffalo Breeding Farm, Kuriottumala are the institutions engaged in Cattle and Buffalo rearing activities. There are nine Poultry Farms, One Broiler Farm, One Duck Farm, a Central Hatchery and two Intensive Poultry Development Blocks for Poultry Breeding activities. Besides, there are two Goat Breeding Farms and Six Pig Breeding Centres in the state along with a Pig Breeding Farm at Kappad.
Planning at the directorate level is handled by a section under the control of an Additional Director supported by a Deputy Director, an Assistant Director and other staff members. In addition to the formulation of schemes this section undertakes processing of the guidelines and instructions to the Departmental Officers on the implementation of Plan schemes, monitoring the progress of implementation, review of the implementation, concurrent evaluation of on going schemes and evaluation of completed scheme.
Presently 2638 institutions are functioning in the Animal Husbandry Department.