MSD Animal Health launches innovative new Poultry Red Mite treatment

MSD Animal Health has launched a revolutionary systemic treatment for poultry red mite infestations, which can conveniently be administered via drinking water.

The new treatment will virtually eliminate a cycle of poultry red mites in production houses of any size or type – including free range – unlike existing alternatives.

With good biosecurity, mites are controlled for long periods of time afterwards. It will also improve poultry welfare by reducing stress associated with certain other forms of treatment and minimises the exposure of workers and birds to chemical sprays – some of which are toxic.

The enactment of recent legislation on chemicals used in poultry houses has limited the licensed options currently available for red mite treatment in Ireland.

“Poultry red mites are among the most threatening pests in Ireland and the UK contributing to: increased stress levels; decreased weight gain; and diminished egg quality and production in infested birds,” Maureen Prendergast, veterinary advisor for MSD Animal Health, said.

“It is important to effectively treat poultry red mites. Infestations not only reduce the birds’ welfare and comfort, but also result in significant economic losses for poultry producers.

This new water-administered product offers a ground-breaking treatment against red mites, which is extremely easy to administer and highly effective within a very short time period.

“With a zero-day withdrawal period, eggs from chickens treated with the product have been proven to have a favourable safety profile; making it ideal for maintaining the health, performance and welfare of flocks while continuing to meet market demands and avoiding economic loss for producers,” added Prendergast.

Poultry red mites – a top five cause of economic loss

Poultry red mites are a top five cause of economic loss in European layer and breeder operations. Infestations cause significant stress to poultry; decrease reproductive potential in males; egg production in females; and weight gain in young birds.

The total annual cost of poultry red mite infestations in the European egg laying industry is estimated to be €360 million. More than 430 million hens in all production types – pullets, breeders and layer hens – are susceptiable to infestation.

Poultry red mites are nocturnal feeders that hide during the day under manure, on roosts and in cracks and crevices in the chicken house, where they lay eggs – making them difficult to eliminate.

Previously available treatment options are labour intensive and may not eliminate or fully control mite infestations.

Mites can affect poultry workers as well, causing gamasoidosis – a skin condition characterised by rash and itching.

The safety of the new red mite treatment from MSD Animal Health has been established through comprehensive clinical research studies.

These studies demonstrated that the product virtually eliminated poultry red mites in production houses and was proven to have a favourable safety profile when used on birds.

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Further information is available from your veterinary practitioner, the product SPC (summary of product characteristics) or MSD Animal Health, Red Oak North, South County Business Park, Leopardstown, Dublin 18, Ireland.

MSD Animal Health can be contacted at: 01-2970220 or email: [email protected].

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