Transmitting information on livestock production has rarely been a priority for centralised extension services in developing countries. National agricultural extension services are usually designed around the need to transmit information on annual crops, while livestock ministries and departments are dominated by vets and animal health concerns. Yet the potential for increasing livestock production through the provision of information is growing in many developing countries. This paper describes the context of that growth and looks at some of the ways in which livestock extension services and institutions differ. Future development in this field must build pragmatically on existing institutions, while attempting to respond flexibly and equitably to the needs of livestock producers.