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Monday, Jul 15, 2024

Victory cheers at market with rats on the way out

Victory cheers at market with rats on the way out

More than 700 rats were caught at a Wong Tai Sin wet market in less than three months compared to just four or five successes a month that were being chalked up previously.
That came with authorities stepping up efforts and new tactics against rodent infestation.

Visiting Tai Shing Street Market yesterday, environment chief Tse Chin-wan declared the rat situation there appeared to have been brought under control.

The market, a hygiene black spot, saw officers of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department lately testing improved rat-catching methods.

"Earlier this year only four to five rats were caught monthly by conventional traps and cages," Tse noted.

But in October authorities introduced alcohol traps - able to contain several rats at one time and put them down quickly with alcohol - that led to an 84-rat haul up to last week.

Then glue traps were adopted in late November, which did even better, catching 482 rodents since last week.

So far, more than 700 rats have been caught in the wet market since October.

Tse said the number of rats caught had reached a peak and lately has been decreasing - indicating the deadly efficiency of new techniques.

"Compared with the old methods the new equipment and new approaches are certainly more effective," he said, so similar methods will be adopted elsewhere.

In fact, an interdepartmental pest control team under the Environment and Ecology Bureau yesterday launched an SAR-wide war on rodents.

Targeted control strategies will be used at wet markets, public estates, parks and construction sites, Tse said.

Rodent control guidelines and rules will also be advanced at seminars and through videos based on a "composite rodent infestation index" compiled together with a university.

A dedicated website with guidance for tackling rats is also being set up by the Environment and Ecology Bureau.

And along with the traps and other weapons of anti-rodent warfare, Tse said, market vendors and restaurant owners are being encouraged to store food properly and handle waste efficiently to cut off rat food sources.

Additionally, rat hiding places are being sealed or otherwise knocked out of action.

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