Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Rodent Management by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment
Mr Yip Hon Weng: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment (a) what are the roles of the National Environment Agency (NEA) and other land management agencies such as Town Councils in rodent management measures; (b) how does NEA ensure that the other land management agencies follow up on their rodent management plans to effectively deal with the issue; and (c) what are the penalties when plans are not followed up.
1 The National Environment Agency (NEA) adopts an integrated surveillance and control approach to keep the rat population in check. This involves island-wide surveillance of public areas to detect signs of potential rat infestation and conducting inspections of areas with rat infestations.
2 All premises owners, including land management agencies, are responsible for ensuring their premises do not create conditions favourable for vector propagation. Where necessary, they should engage the services of licensed Vector Control Operators to put in place a sustained programme to prevent rat infestation. NEA shares surveillance information, best practices and know-how with land management agencies to support them in their rat control efforts. Where an area with rat infestation involves several stakeholders, NEA will bring them together to implement coordinated rat control measures.
3 Premises owners who fail to practise proper refuse management or who create conditions favourable to the harbouring or propagating of rats are subject to enforcement by NEA under the Environmental Public Health Act (EPHA) and the Control of Vectors and Pesticides Act (CVPA) respectively. The maximum penalty under the CVPA is a fine of up to $20,000 or imprisonment for up to 3 months, or both, for a first offence. For a first offence under the Environmental Public Health (Public Cleansing) Regulations, premises owners can be fined up to a maximum of $1,000 and to a further fine not exceeding $100 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.