This paper describes Nepal’s national livestock policies and considers how they can be improved to help meet the pressing national challenges of economic development, equity, poverty alleviation, gender mainstreaming, inclusion of marginalized and underprivileged communities, and climate vulnerability. Nepal is in the process of transforming its government from a unitary system to a federal democratic structure through the new constitution expected by 2015, offering the opportunity to bring a new set of priorities and stakeholders to policymaking. Nepal’s livestock subsector comes most directly within the purview of the National Agricultural Policy 2004, Agro-Business Policy, 2006 and Agricultural Sectoral Operating Policies of the Approach Paper to 13th Plan, 2012/13–2015/16 policy instruments. We systematically review these and other livestock-related national policies through analysis of their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT). We conclude with the need to formulate a separate, integrated national livestock policy so that Nepal can sustainably increase livestock productivity and achieve diversification, commercialization and competitiveness of the livestock subsector within the changing national and international contexts.