About LEGS

LEGS aims to improve the quality and livelihoods impact of livestock-related projects in humanitarian situations.

What is LEGS ?

The Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) are a set of international standards and guidelines for the assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation of livestock interventions, in support of people affected by humanitarian crises. LEGS draws on evidence-based good practice from around the world, which is incorporated into its Handbook, training materials and other resources.

LEGS Handbook

The LEGS Handbook provides standards and guidelines for appropriate and timely livestock-based livelihoods responses in emergencies, using a participatory and evidence-based approach.

Training Programme

The LEGS Training Programme focuses on the roll-out of the LEGS Core Training. Since 2010 the LEGS Core Training Course has been delivered in person across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and it is now also available as an online course.


LEGS has developed a half-day session to raise awareness about the purpose and contents of LEGS; to share information on LEGS activities; and to give a taste of the LEGS training process.

LEGS History: 2004-2014

In the early 2000s, individuals & agencies involved in livestock emergency response began to question the quality, usefulness and sustainability of interventions.

  • 2004: Identified need for agreed standards and guidelines at an African Union International Bureau of Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) workshop in Kenya.
  • 2006: Initiated the “LEGS Project” at the first Steering Group meeting in Addis Ababa.
  • 2008: Conducted consultation process on the draft Handbook along with field testing.
  • 2009: Published the 1st edition of the Handbook and held a launch event in Addis Ababa.
  • 2010: Developed training materials, launched the LEGS training programme and held the first six Training of Trainers (ToTs) courses. Rolled out the first Three-Day Training (now called Core Training) courses – 18 courses were delivered by ToT graduates.
  • 2011: Accepted as a companion standard to Sphere.
  • 2013:
    • Published French and Spanish versions of the 1st edition of the Handbook.
    • Commissioned briefing papers on gender, climate change, animal welfare, and livestock interventions in camps.
  • 2014:
    • Published the Arabic version of the Handbook 1st edition on the LEGS website.
    • Published the 2nd edition of the Handbook, following a revision and consultation process.

LEGS History: 2015-2022

  • 2015: Held launch events for the 2nd edition of the Handbook in London, Geneva, Washington, D.C., and Nairobi.
  • 2017-2019: Conducted research project investigating the operational barriers to applying the LEGS Approach, focusing on veterinary pharmaceuticals.
  • 2018: Registered LEGS as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) in England.
  • 2020:
    • Coordinated consultation and review of the 2nd edition of LEGS Handbook in preparation for the 3rd
    • Published seven Discussion Papers.
    • Published a Guidance Note in March 2020 on how to apply the LEGS Approach in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • 2021:
    • Began revising the LEGS Handbook in order to publish the 3rd edition in 2023.
    • Conducted six webinars based on the 2020 Discussion Papers.
    • Developed and pilot tested the LEGS Core Training course for online delivery.
    • Produced a desk review on livestock-related emergencies and their impact in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, followed by four webinars.
  • 2022

LEGS, Sphere and the Humanitarian Standard Partnership

In 2016 LEGS joined four other companion standards and Sphere to form the Humanitarian Standards Partnership (HSP). HSP has since grown to include 10 partners. The aim of the partnership is to improve the application of humanitarian standards through increased coherence and effectiveness of outreach, whilst each maintaining the independence of each standard’s initiatives.

LEGS is recognised as THE handbook to guide livelihoods-based livestock interventions.

Astrid de Valon — Former Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, Trocaire, East Africa