Prior to 1947, the livestock department had no separate existence of its own but was merged with the Supply Department. For the first time in 1952 a separate Livestock Officer was appointed. Since then the department started functioning separately with the Livestock Officer as the technical Head of Office and placed under the control of the Deputy Commissioner Establishment. The Directorate of Animal Husbandry came into existence in December 1971, the Department was upgraded to Directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services in the year 1977. The Development Commissioner-cum-Secretary (AH) is the administrative head of the department. The Directorate is headed by the Director of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, three Districts are headed by Senior Veterinary Officers (Zonal Officers) and Senior Veterinary Officers are posted in all major Islands. The major activities of the department Veterinary services, Animal Health Care, Disease Eradication, Cattle, Goat, Pig and Poultry development, control of diseases and Extension Training for Farmers and Veterinarians.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services focuses on improvement and expansion of the animal husbandry activities and providing quality Veterinary Services in these Islands. This has a direct bearing on the overall development of the rural masses, especially the weaker sections of the society, women, unemployed youth, and tribals. The department carries out planned programmes for development of Dairy and Fodder, Poultry, Piggery and Goatery by providing inputs, training and health cover.
The Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary services is entrusted with the responsibility of all aspect of Livestock and Poultry Development, like, production, processing and marketing of livestock and poultry and their products through augmentation of production of milk, meat and eggs. Animal health care service and prevention of animal diseases is a priority for maintenance of a healthy stock for optimum production. Creation of suitable infrastructure for breeding, feeding and management of livestock and poultry, processing of milk, meat and eggs and marketing of livestock and livestock products is also given due importance. Besides, the Department is engaged in providing the required training and extension support to livestock producers so as to promote scientific rearing of livestock and poultry amongst them with consequent generation of employment avenues in the rural areas.