July 18th, 2005, 07:10 PM
Rats invade central Hong Kong
July 18, 2005
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong's central business district, famous for gleaming skyscrapers and fashionable bars, is facing an invasion of rats.
Between January and June, the densely populated area's rodent infestation rate swelled to 17 percent from zero, based on the number of rats attracted to every 100 pieces of bait.
"Central was virtually rat-free a few months ago, then the situation deteriorated. We have to tackle the problem actively. What is important is sustained action," said Ho Yuk-yin, a consultant with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
He attributed the influx to poor vigilance at restaurants in the area's old, run-down and poorly-maintained buildings and maze of dank alleyways.
Government officers are distributing pamphlets to educate restaurant workers about hygiene, food storage, rubbish disposal and rat prevention. Workers were also putting out poisoned bait.
The district is now the second-worst rat infested area in Hong Kong, behind a shopping center in rural New Territories. A rodent infestation rate above 20 percent is considered high.
July 18th, 2005, 07:41 PM
Rats in Central????? I understand in Sham Shui Po or Kwun Tong but Central??? hehe you better burn them all! >:] btw: I love you hkskyline. Thanks to you, i always know what's goin' on in HK :) thx! :D
July 18th, 2005, 08:28 PM
July 19th, 2005, 08:25 AM
A little bit of NYC happening now :D
June 23rd, 2010, 04:12 PM
LCQ7 : Rodent prevention and control
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Government Press Release
Following is a question by the Hon Tommy Cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr York Chow, in the Legislative Council today (June 23):
It has been reported that a foreign visitor was bitten by a rodent last month in Central - Hong Kong's business and trade centre as well as tourist landmark - which has made Hong Kong an international laughing stock and also reflected that the authorities' adoption of the rodent infestation rate (RIR) as an indicator for enhancing rodent disinfestation efforts fails to contain rodent infestation effectively. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) whether it has reviewed if the existing practice of enhancing rodent disinfestation efforts in accordance with RIRs can achieve the result of continuously alleviating rodent infestation; if so, of the details and outcome of the review; if not, the reasons for that; and whether it will conduct such a review in the near future;
(b) given that I have learnt that even though the RIRs of some districts with serious rodent problems have been successfully brought down following enhanced efforts of the authorities on rodent disinfestation, the RIRs of those districts have surged again after routine rodent disinfestation operations are resumed, what measures the authorities have put in place to deal with such situations; and
(c) apart from using traditional rodent disinfestation methods such as placing baits and rodent cage traps, whether the authorities had studied and planned in the past three years for the introduction of more effective rodent disinfestation methods; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Effective rodent prevention and control hinges on the sustained co-operation between the community and the Government. Since 2000, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has been making use of the rodent infestation rate (RIR) and the rate trend to reflect the general situation of rodent infestation in individual districts so as to devise anti-rodent actions, as well as to assess the progress and overall efficacy of rodent prevention and disinfestation work. When conducting rodent prevention and control work, apart from drawing reference to district RIR, the FEHD from time to time makes appropriate adjustments to the work at district level in light of frontline officers' reports as well as the views of the District Council concerned and the local community. It must be pointed out that, given the high adaptability and reproductive rate of rodents, the situation of rodent infestation in individual districts may vary with changes in the environmental hygiene conditions and the level of active public participation in rodent prevention and control work.
My reply to the three parts of the question is as follows:
(a) There is no RIR which is adopted internationally. The FEHD has made reference to overseas practices and the actual situation of Hong Kong when devising its RIR. The FEHD has tried out different methods and finally come to the conclusion that adopting the ratio of baits gnawed by rodents as the infestation rate is the most suitable method for Hong Kong. As there have not been major changes in Hong Kong's environment or rodents' habits in recent years, the current survey approach is still appropriate.
In addition to the RIR, frontline staff of the FEHD also take into account the trails left by rodents, complaint figures and the views of the local community and the public in targeting rodent prevention and control actions at areas where rodent problems exist.
(b) The FEHD deploys resources flexibly in accordance with the rodent infestation situation in every district. As rodents are very adaptive and have a high reproductive rate, active participation of the public is indispensable if anti-rodent work is to achieve optimal results. In this connection, apart from strengthening rodent prevention and control efforts in districts, such as stepping up inspections in rear lanes with poor hygiene conditions, the FEHD also enhances publicity and education efforts aimed at reminding residents and restaurant owners of the importance of anti-rodent measures. In addition, in order to sustain anti-rodent efforts, we maintain close liaison with District Councils to seek their support in encouraging active local participation in rodent prevention and control work.
Since last year, the FEHD has deployed additional staff to different districts to take forward and coordinate pest control work at district level. The department has also strengthened communication with other government departments and local organisations. Visits are made to private and public housing estates, shopping centres, construction sites, hospitals, schools, restaurants, elderly centres, etc., for carrying out demonstrations and providing technical instructions, with an aim to assisting these bodies in adopting effective rodent prevention and disinfestation measures and to promote the importance of rodent prevention and control.
In addition, the FEHD has been actively stepping up its public hygiene efforts. Sustained efforts are made to enhance the environmental hygiene of public markets, aqua privies and public toilets, streets, rear lanes, hygiene blackspots as well as private buildings. As a result, the general situation of rodent infestation in Hong Kong is controlled effectively.
(c) The FEHD has been adopting a comprehensive and targeted approach in its prevention and control work. Following the World Health Organisation's relevant recommendations and technical guidelines, the FEHD's existing rodent prevention and control work is based on an integrated approach consisting of improving environmental conditions, applying poisonous baits and setting traps, etc. This approach is in line with that adopted in major overseas and Mainland cities. Besides, in order to identify an integrated anti-rodent approach most suited to Hong Kong's environment, the FEHD keeps abreast of the latest international developments in the methodologies and materials for rodent monitoring, prevention and control, as well as exchanges views with experts through meetings.
With respect to concrete anti-rodent efforts, the FEHD adopts an adaptive strategy, under which the types of bait and trapping device to be used are flexibly decided having regard to the unique environment of individual districts and preferences of rodents.