Advisory Council on Food and Environmental Hygiene

Anti-rodent Campaign 2002

Purpose

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) will launch a territory-wide Anti-rodent Campaign in the first half of 2002 to prevent and control problems relating to rodents. This paper outlines the objectives and implementation plan of the Campaign.

Background

Rodents are harmful pests that can transmit a number of deadly diseases, including plague, leptospirosis, hantaviral diseases and urban typhus. They may also cause physical damage to properties and contaminate foodstuff. The table at Annex shows the number of notified cases on rodent-borne diseases found in Hong Kong between 1997 and 2001.

FEHD, being the pest control authority in Hong Kong, is responsible for formulating strategies to prevent and control problems relating to rodents. Focusing on the rodent problems found in the market buildings and on construction sites, FEHD launched the first territory-wide Anti-rodent Campaign in June 2000. In addition to stepping up disinfestation efforts in the target areas, FEHD organised publicity activities (such as exhibitions) to educate the public about proper rodent preventive and control measures. An Inter-departmental Working Group for Pest Prevention and Control, comprising members from the Home Affairs Department, Housing Department, Highways Department, Labour Department and Leisure and Cultural Services Department, was set up to promote partnership in the implementation of the Campaign. District Councils had also kindly assisted in promoting community participation in the Campaign.

With the joint efforts of Government departments concerned, the first Anti-rodent Campaign was successfully completed in July 2001. Evaluation results show a decline in the number of rodent-borne diseases and a reduced rodent population in the market buildings and on the construction sites targeted by the Campaign. The Campaign also increased market stall keepers' and construction workers' awareness of the importance of rodent prevention and control.

Anti-rodent Campaign 2002

Our battle against rodent infestation requires a sustained effort. In view of the success of the first Anti-rodent Campaign in 2000/01 and to maintain the momentum, we shall launch another territory-wide Anti-rodent Campaign in the first half of 2002 by shifting the target areas to licensed food premises and their nearby rear lanes.

Target Areas

Licensed food premises, with ample food sources and possible harbouring places, provide potential breeding havens for rodents. Careless dumping of refuse and preparation of food by restaurant staff at nearby rear lanes often worsen the situation. These areas would become highly vulnerable to rodent infestation if no preventive and control measures are in place to combat the problem. In 2000, a total of 376 warnings against rodent problem were issued to licensed food premises during regular inspections conducted by FEHD's District Health Inspectors. To prevent the problem from aggravating, we have chosen licensed food premises and the nearby rear lanes as the target biotope of the 2002 Anti-rodent Campaign.

Objectives

The 2002 Anti-rodent Campaign aims to achieve the following objectives -

  1. reduce rodent population in the territory, particularly in respect of licensed food premises and the nearby areas; and

  2. equip the management of food premises with the skills and knowledge on rodent prevention and control.

Implementation Plan

The Campaign will be conducted in two phases, namely the Promotion Phase (2 January 2002 to 2 February 2002) and the Enhancement Phase (June 2002). During the Promotion Phase, FEHD will concentrate their efforts on the identification of rodent problems in the licensed food premises as well as conveying the skills and knowledge on rodent prevention and control to the management. District Health Inspectors will inspect licensed food premises and advise their management of the proper rodent control and preventive measures. Rodent cage trap or poisonous baiting station will be set at the peripheral areas of the premises by our pest control staff when signs of rodent infestation have been detected.

The Enhancement Phase, which will last for about four weeks, provides an opportunity for FEHD to reinforce the rodent prevention message. By the end of the implementation period, FEHD aim to bring rodent problems found in areas around the licensed food premises under control. An assessment will also be made to see whether the licensed food premises have implemented appropriate rodent preventive measures.

Community Participation

Rodent prevention and control cannot be carried out effectively and efficiently without the participation of the community. FEHD will liaise with related trade bodies and District Councils in the coming few months to enlist their support for the Campaign and seek their assistance in organising rodent prevention and control activities at the district level.

A series of publicity and education activities will be organised to spread the message of the Campaign. Examples of such activities include press briefing, exhibition, and theme talks. FEHD will also make use of other communication channels such as the Department's website, posters, leaflets and announcements in the public interest on television and radio to publicize the campaign.

Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
August 2001




Annex

Number of notified cases on rodent-borne diseases
found in Hong Kong during 1997-2001
Year Disease
Plague Urban typhus Leptospirosis Hantaviral disease
1997 0 8 0 5
1998 0 5 0 9
1999 0 12 0 8
2000 0 3 1 2
2001(Jan-July) 0 1* 1 1

(*Note: The figure excludes three reported typhus cases which are pending classification.)

 

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