Kelowna council looks to ban spiked fences to prevent wildlife injury, death

Conservation Officer Service recommended the changes after numerous reports of animals impaled, injured

A fence with fur on it from an animal that got stuck. (BCCOS)

Kelowna city council has passed the first reading of a bylaw amendment that will prohibit spiked fences in the city.

The proposed new bylaw comes after recommendations from the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) to the city to consider changing fencing regulations to prevent designs that could kill or injure deer.

BCCOS cited approximately 20 instances a year in which deer are impaled or severely injured from pointed metal pickets rising above the top or mid-rails of fencing.

“These incidents are traumatic for homeowners, the community and for the officers involved,” read city staff’s report to council on May 4. “Subsequently, staff have worked closely with the Conservation Officer Service to develop a minor change to the fencing regulations in order to prevent new metal (i.e. wrought iron) fences from having pointed pickets that can injure or kill deer and other types of wildlife.”

The change will only affect wrought iron fences, as the BCCOS has not reported any problems with deer or other wildlife being injured or killed on wood fences.

The amendment is not retroactive and would not affect legal nonconforming fences that were installed before the adoption of this proposal.

“However, it is hoped that many in the community will retrofit their fences to remove pointed pickets that could hurt wildlife,” read the report.

Coun. Luke Stack asked city staff whether the amendment will pertain to shorter picketed fences in the inner city, which he says keeps the “human predators” from piling into people’s properties.

“I can see it on the taller fences particularly at urban interfaces, but in the inner city I’m struggling to see it,” he said.

The law will also apply to inner-city fences, regardless of height.

Coun. Charlie Hodge said such fences are “barbaric” and he’s seen the direct repercussions of it in his environmental work.

“It takes one experience like that to see they should never be allowed — it is cruel,” he said.

Coun. Loyal Wooldridge said it’s a shame that the bylaw won’t be enacted retroactively. But city staff said that directive would have to come from the province.

The city’s planning and communications departments will work together to form an outreach and education program to inform the community about this issue and to provide retrofit tips and wildlife safe fencing options.

The new fencing requirements will protect deer, moose and other wildlife from being injured or killed.

The bylaw amendment will go to a public hearing at a later date.

READ MORE: Illegal dumping on the rise in Kelowna amid pandemic: forest clean-up group

READ MORE: Rising water partially closes some Central Okanagan trails

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bernard Avenue will be closed to vehicles this summer

Kelowna’s main drag will be a pedestrian-only roadway from June 29 through the Labour Day long weekend

Kelowna’s Homebase Baseball Tournament cancelled

A live auction will still take place to raise funds for Joeanna’s House

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation launches fundraising initiative to support local health care

The initiative also highlights workers at Kelowna General Hospital

Kelowna man charged with animal cruelty

The 20-year-old Kelowna resident remains in custody

Proposed wine centre in historic downtown Kelowna building moved to public hearing

The public will get an opportunity to give input on the proposed 625-person capacity wine centre

Video: Okanagan mayors encourage water conservation this summer

Water conservation this summer could be more important than ever, experts say

Enderby’s drive-in not safe from top doc’s 50-car limit

Starlight Drive-In opened with reduced capacity, COVID-19 safety measures in place

Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Shuswap cabin owner disputes request to stay home in Alberta

Alberta resident redrafts response to CSRD request to stay home

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

Vernon gym knocked out by COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announce permanent closure of facility

Snapshot: Distanced dancing in Salmon Arm

Friends use picnic shelter at Blackburn Park for safe practice

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Most Read