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FEHD releases Rodent Infestation Rate for first half of 2016
     The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) announced today (August 30) that the overall Rodent Infestation Rate (RIR) for the first half of 2016 was 4.2 per cent, slightly higher than that for the second half of 2015 (2.8 per cent) and the overall RIR for 2015 (3 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 first half of 2016, indicating that rodent infestation is not extensive in the area surveyed. Among them, Mong Kok recorded the highest RIR (9.3 per cent)."

     He added, "The relatively higher RIRs in some districts were mainly caused by poor hygiene conditions at specific spots and 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."

     The spokesman said that the FEHD would maintain its regular anti-rodent work, which includes street cleaning, eliminating rats in rear lanes by poisonous baiting and trapping, filling rat holes, encouraging active participation of the community in rodent prevention and control work and carrying out public health education and publicity in all districts.

     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 rodent prevention and control in the community.

     "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 spokesman said.

     Effective rodent prevention and control hinges on sustained co-operation between the community and the Government. The FEHD, as in previous years, has rolled out a two-phase territory-wide anti-rodent campaign this year to encourage public participation. The first phase was completed in March while the second phase, which began early last month, will run until September 9.

     During the campaign period, the FEHD has enhanced 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.

     On the public education front, the FEHD will continue to organise publicity and educational events at different levels of the community across the territory. The department will also work closely with District Councils to effectively drive home messages on rodent prevention and control.

     For more information on rodent prevention and control measures and the RIR, please visit the FEHD website at www.fehd.gov.hk.
Ends/Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:00
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