The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented emergency and grave societal threat. It is affecting key sectors that contribute to global food security, nutrition and livelihoods, including the livestock sector. This policy brief describes the observed and potential impacts of COVID-19 on the livestock sector, based on evidence from the ongoing crisis and past epidemics. It highlights key impacts on animal production, processing, transport, sales and consumption as well as on the poorest and most vulnerable. Finally, the brief provides examples of country responses as well as policy options for consideration by national policy makers to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.