Hong Kong activists who plan to sail to the Diaoyu Islands are facing another official interruption - this time from local hygiene authorities who want to inspect their ship for rats. This came after their plan to sail from Taiwan to the disputed territory was blocked by the island's government on Monday, with the warning that Taipei would invalidate their visas and blacklist them as visitors if they went ahead. Lo Chau, a member of the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands and owner of the vessel Kai Fung 2, said the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department had telephoned him on Monday, saying it had received a complaint about rats on the boat and wanted to inspect it on Tuesday. He was then in Xiamen, Fujian province, participating in mainland protests so the department had agreed to postpone the inspection till Friday. 'Sometimes we see rats on our ship, but over the years we have never had any complaints,' committee chairman Chan Miu-tak said. 'Why does the government suddenly notice the rats on our ship? I don't believe there has been a real complaint.' A department spokeswoman said the inspection had been requested because a member of the public had complained to the the Port Health Office last Wednesday. 'Our officers will make recommendations on rodent control to the vessel owner after examining the situation,' she said. 'If the owner requests to reschedule the inspection, we can arrange it accordingly.' The vessel was stopped by marine police in May last year while carrying activists to the Diaoyus. Lo and captain Kwok Man-chiu were each fined HK$1,350 for having insufficient firefighting equipment on board and carrying a passenger without a licence.