While the rate of growth of Indian agriculture has been slacking, the pace of agriculture growth in eastern India has been slower than in the rest of the country. The widening gap of income and opportunity of eastern India and other fast growing states, with agriculture as a prime source of livelihood, dependence on livestock as an alternative source of income is significant for reducing poverty and improving nutritional security, especially when majority of land holding are small. Under conditions of relatively small land-human ratio and low agricultural productivity in the eastern region, livestock forms a complementary source of employment and livelihood. In this context, a status and performance and factors influencing development of the livestock sector in eastern region has been carried out. However, a significant proportion of landless labourers, small and marginal farmers have access to livestock resources and acceleration in the growth of livestock in eastern India offers significant opportunities for household income augmentation and employment generation. Several factors identified to influence household’s decision to rear livestock include availability of labour, occupation, caste, farm-size, availability of irrigation, and access to information sources etc,. The growth of livestock sector has been found slower in the eastern India than at the national level. The study has shown that the eastern states impact is not satisfactory and should take technical, institutional and commercial and policy initiatives for the improvement of quality breeds, feeds and fodder, and animal health care.