GBA rule of law action plan released

Anti-rodent meeting held

The Environment & Ecology Bureau today met trade representatives on the Cross-sectoral Territory-wide Anti-rodent Action to share the Government’s latest anti-rodent experience and strengthen co-operation among the Government, businesses and the community while encouraging various sectors to continue to adopt effective rodent prevention and control measures in the coming year.


Participants from 18 organisations or institutions were at the meeting chaired by Under Secretary for Environment & Ecology Diane Wong.


During the meeting, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) reported that it had caught around 65,500 live rodents from February 2023 to January 2024, about 39% more than the 47,200 rodents caught in the corresponding period of the previous year. Out of those 65,500, around 26,700 were captured by the department’s overnight rodent control teams, accounting for more than 40% of the total number of live rodents caught by the department across the city in the same period.


FEHD representatives also briefed meeting attendees about the new rodent surveillance programme implemented this year.


Under the biannual programme, about 100 survey locations in each district are identified via stratified sampling for installation of thermal cameras, and artificial intelligence technology is used to analyse the images showing the presence of rodents. With reference to the surveillance outcome, the FEHD and relevant departments can devise more targeted anti-rodent work.


As for public housing estates, the Housing Authority will continue to step up daily cleaning and implement targeted pest control measures. District offices will continue to include pest control work in the contracts of cleaning services provided for the common parts of “three-nil” buildings as needed. Relevant departments also plan to conduct inspections with District Council members and organise joint environmental hygiene operations with local stakeholders.


The pest control industry also introduced the latest developments in the application of technology, including using lenses with sensing technology and applying the Internet of Things technology. Representatives of other sectors also shared effective control measures such as complying with the guidelines and code of practice issued by FEHD, keeping premises free from rodent infestation, applying anti-rodent technologies and tools more widely, and organising and attending pest control seminars and promotional activities.


Separately, the meeting touched on a trial scheme launched by FEHD at the end of 2022, which allows licensed food premises under specified conditions to place large-size waste containers in their adjacent rear lanes for proper temporary storage of waste until collection by the cleaning workers hired by the food premises.


Currently, the trial scheme has been extended to 28 rear lanes across the city and achieved good results. As such, the FEHD will further expand the scheme to cover more rear lanes.


In addition, in April last year, the FEHD completed the introduction of a new licensing condition to all fresh provision shops to strengthen the regulations on receiving meat and poultry, so as to prevent the goods from invasion or contamination by pests or the ambient environment.


Regarding food waste recycling, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) told meeting participants that it provides free point-to-point collection services for premises with a larger quantity of food waste. It also offers mobile food waste collection services for districts with catering businesses, and is progressively placing purple food waste recycling bins with covers in places near street-level eatery clusters, such as about 100 refuse collection points under the FEHD and suitable rear lanes.


This year, it will install smart food waste recycling bins with a sealed design and odour abatement function in all public rental housing estates, as well as in interested private housing estates through funding projects, the EPD added.