Diseases killed over 260,000 livestock in 2015, nearly double the number (~135,000) in 2005, according to data from the department of animal husbandry and dairying, and ministry of agriculture, as compiled by the 2017 Statistical Yearbook of India.

Overall, poultry in India increased 49%, from 489 million in 2003 to 729 million in 2012, FactChecker reported on November 7, 2017. Total livestock, including cattle, buffaloes, goats, yaks etc., increased 5.5% from 485 million in 2003 to 512 million in 2012.

The main cause of death in 2015 was avian flu because of which about 200,000 birds were culled, followed by chronic respiratory disease which killed over 18,000 and New Castle disease, a contagious viral bird disease, which killed over 12,000.

Livestock deaths due to chronic respiratory diseases increased 135% from 7,980 in 2003 to 18,797 in 2012, data show.

Source: Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare
** Birds culled

(Shah is a writer/editor with IndiaSpend.)