FEHD releases Rodent Infestation Rate for 2017 and second half of 2017

Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (February 27) that the overall Rodent Infestation Rate (RIR) for the second half of 2017 was 3.5 per cent, comparable to the 3.4 per cent recorded in the first half of the year. The overall RIR for 2017 wasalso 3.5 per cent, slightly lower than the figure recorded in 2016 (4 per cent). Rodent infestation in public areas in the territory was generally under control.

     An FEHD spokesman said, "According to a territory-wide survey conducted by the department, the RIRs of all districts were below 10 per cent for the second half of 2017, indicating that rodent infestation was not extensive in the areas surveyed.

Among them, Sham Shui Po recorded the highest RIR (6.5 per cent).

     "The relatively higher RIRs in some districts were mainly caused by poor hygiene conditions at specific spots such as rear lanes, including the accumulation of disused articles, indiscriminate disposal of refuse and improper handling of food remnants, which provide shelter and food for rodents."

     There is no internationally adopted RIR. When devising the RIR, the FEHD made reference to overseas practices and the actual situation of Hong Kong. The overall RIR is the average infestation rate of the districts during the period.

The district RIR assesses the rodent problem in public places surveyed during the surveillance period. The district RIR is divided into three levels. Level 1 (less than 10 per cent) indicates that rodent infestation is not extensive in the area surveyed.

Level 2 (between 10 per cent and 19 per cent) indicates that rodent infestation is slightly extensive in the area surveyed, and the FEHD will strengthen rodent disinfestation operations there. Level 3 (20 per cent or above) indicates that rodent infestation is extensive. The relevant government departments will form a joint task force and launch special rodent prevention and control operations to strengthen rodent disinfestation, environmental improvement and cleaning services comprehensively, and promote messages of rodent prevention and control in the community.

     The spokesman added, "The district RIRs may not fully reflect the actual situation of rodent infestation in the individual districts concerned.

When conducting rodent prevention and control operations, the FEHD makes appropriate adjustments to the work in individual districts from time to time, taking into account reports from front-line staff and the views of the relevant District Councils and the local community, as well as the district RIR.

     "The FEHD continues to roll out the territory-wide anti-rodent campaign in two phases this year. The first phase was launched in early January and will run until March 16. The second phase, to last for 10 weeks, will be launched in July.

During the campaign period, the FEHD will enhance its inspections and rodent prevention and control measures in target areas including markets, municipal services buildings, hawker bazaars, typhoon shelters, lanes adjacent to food premises and other problematic spots and their peripheries.

     "In view of the fruitful results of two rounds of anti-rodent operations in designated target areas last year, the FEHD also plans to conduct special operations between the two phases of the territory-wide anti-rodent campaign this year, during which multi-pronged strategies, including improving environmental hygiene and stepping up rodent disinfestation and enforcement actions, will be adopted to strengthen rodent prevention and control at the district level."

     The spokesman stressed that effective rodent prevention and control hinges on sustained co-operation between the community and the Government. Apart from continuing to enhance the rodent prevention and control work in all districts, the FEHD will also step up public education and publicity targeting different sectors of the community, including co-organising promotional activities with District Councils, to encourage the public to actively participate in the anti-rodent campaigns, and to prevent rodent infestation by eliminating the three survival conditions of rodents, namely food, harbourage and passages, meaning the elimination of the food sources and hiding places of rodents, as well as blockage of their dispersal routes.

     For more information on rodent prevention and control measures and the RIR, please visit the FEHD website at http://www.fehd.gov.hk" target="_blank">www.fehd.gov.hk.

Published on: 2018-02-27

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