The poultry ectoparasite Dermanyssus gallinae, known to poultry farmers as ‘red mite’, has a negative impact on animal health and is a vector of viruses and bacteria. It also sometimes attacks poultry farm workers, and human infestations have been reported originating from pigeons' nests in urban areas. A European project is currently investigating synergistic and holistic approaches to improving the health, welfare and productivity of laying hens through more effective prevention and control of the red mite. Kathryn Bartley reports from a two-day conference held in Italy in May, which provided an update on progress with the project
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