Pharmaceutical giant MSD Animal Health has launched the first red mite treatment added to water lines that it says can “virtually eliminate” the pest from a poultry farm.
Launched ahead of the World Veterinary Poultry Association congress in Edinburgh UK, the treatment is a prescription-only product named Exzolt, and is fully licenced for use in Europe.
MSD said the novel treatment was more effective and safer than conventional sprayed products, minimising both bird and worker’s exposure to chemicals.
The cost of red mite to poultry producers in Europe is estimated at €360 million each year, with the pest increasing bird stress, decreasing weight gain and reducing egg quality. Conventional treatments are also becoming less effective as mites develop resistance.
The new product utilises the acaricide fluraliner, which targets red mites’ nervous systems after they feed on laying hens. It is administered to birds via water lines and requires 2 treatments, 7 days apart.
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It is dosed at 0.5mg/kg of bodyweight, and trials undertaken by MSD have suggested the product is 99% effective against red mite for at least 15 days following treatment.
There is also a zero-day withdrawal period for eggs. Dr Taylor Barbosa, head of poultry at MSD said: “Eggs from chickens are safe to consume, making Exzolt ideal for maintaining the health, performance and welfare of flocks while continuing to meet market demands and avoiding economic loss for producers.”