Extension services provide farmers with important information, such as patterns in crop prices, new seed varieties, animal management, and marketing. As awareness of previous technologies and knowledge produces actual demand, it gives signal to the input delivery systems thus, extension and input distribution systems are kept to be reciprocally reinforcing . An ideal extension service system also provides feedback from farmers to research centers . Extension activities are often aimed to improve farmers’ knowledge, attitude and practice to use of their resources and albeit technologies that are available to them . In this regard, the term ‘veterinary extension’ has been defined as an informal education provided by veterinarians on animal health and zoonosis to the rural livestock owners .
Livestock sector in Ethiopia is an integral part of agriculture, accounting for about 45% of the total value of agricultural production and supporting the livelihoods of over 65% human population. More than 80% of the population lives in rural areas in contact with livestock out of which 30% of them are still in poverty [6, 7]. In terms of livestock population, Ethiopia leads African countries with an estimated 59 million cattle, 30 million sheep, 23 million goats, 1 million camels, and 57 million poultry, 11 million equines and a small number of pigs . On top of their use as a source of foods, product of comodities and services to the people, the livestock also provides 10% the countries export earnings, mainly through live animal export. The total supply of animal source foods in the country, including net trade, translates into a per capita consumption of 9 kg meat, 56.2 liters of milk and about 4 eggs per year. Cattle products, beef and cow milk contribute to almost 80% of all meat and milk consumption. Market transactions are largely in urban areas as self-consumption dominates in rural areas 
In Ethiopia, where animals are used for transportation, farming, cloths, source of fuel and dietary protein, there is very close contact among humans, animals, wildlife and the surrounding environment. In the absence of appropriate animal and human health care and preventative health services, this cross-contact creates public health risks via zoonotic disease transmission with enormous economic consequences [10, 11].
Health extension services for knowledge transfer from professionals to society play an important role in the prevention and control of infectious diseases. Before 2015 in Ethiopia, there was no well-developed national strategy to teach society about animal health and zoonosis. This important gap created a lack of perception of society about the disease. Later in 2015 multidisciplinary One-Health initiative workshops developed a list of Rabies, anthrax, brucellosis, leptospirosis and echinococcosis as the top five priority zoonotic diseases the greatest national concern in Ethiopia.
Veterinary health extension is a sector of animal health service to the community that can provide information through continuing education, informal training, consultations and materials to practitioners as well as animal health packages to the animal owners. Although improvement in animal health care correlates with better public health care, the control of zoonotic disease in Ethiopia has been partially neglected between veterinary and medical professionals [5, 13]. Currently, the number of universities that produce veterinary professionals and veterinary infrastructures that could provide the platform for animal health extension services in the country. But still, the extension service so far given by the veterinarian is very limited and mainly targets the convectional treating sick animals, providing seasonal vaccination and occasionally delivery of artificial insemination. Chemotherapy becoming the routine attempt for treatment and control of animal disease; which usually end-up with antibiotic resistance . There is a limited attempt by the veterinarian to transfer the knowledge about risks of animal disease transmission to the animal owners and community at large .
Zoonosis is an infectious disease that is transmitted from animals to humans. Of the microbial diseases affecting humans 61% are zoonotic . The transmission may occur through direct contact with the animal, through vectors, or food or water contamination. Globally, zoonosis is said to account for 75% of all emerging pathogens [16, 17]. The impact of zoonotic diseases on society includes animal and productivity loss, livelihood income loss and human health burden which further causes societal and economic loss . There is high zoonotic disease health problem with many farmers still practicing poor livestock production [19, 20].
The control strategies for zoonotic diseases largely rely on the creation of public health awareness. In a resource-scarce developing country like Ethiopia, improving knowledge, attitude and practice of animal owners about infectious disease and zoonosis is critical to contain the spread of zoonotic diseases [21, 22]. In this regard, veterinarians are one of the key people in multidisciplinary and community-based health services. They could able to deliver veterinary extension services to animal owners. However, particularly in Ethiopia, there are no clear policies and allocated veterinary professional positions that teach the community about primary animal health care. Hence the present study was intended to assess the current status of veterinary extension service as well as public perception on major infectious and zoonotic diseases at Robe veterinary clinic of Bale zone.