The relationship between lice infestation and leather damage was investigated in a trial involving 61 cattle, half of which were treated with ectoparasiticides for lice control either in their first or second year. Hides from the lice-free and lousy calves were removed manually at an abattoir, tanned and inspected for licerelated damage, commercially referred to as light spot and/or fleck. In both the first- and second-year animals there was a significant difference between the hides of the lousy and lice-free animals, confirming that the chewing louse Bovicola bovis is a cause of winter light spot. There was also a difference between the two groups in the levels of scratch damage. After the infested animals had been treated with fenvalerate and eprinomectin to kill all the lice, the damage to the hides had not been fully reversed 13 weeks later.