Deer can impale themselves trying to hop over fences like this. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service file photo)

Deer can impale themselves trying to hop over fences like this. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service file photo)

Lake Country looks at spiking deer-killing fences

Deadly decorative fences claimed a fawn in Vernon last month

Deer being impaled trying to leap over decorative fences has prompted another Okanagan community to look at alternatives.

Lake Country staff are investigating bylaw amendments similar to neighbouring jurisdictions that consider blunting mechanisms or alternatives for spiked fences to reduce unnecessary suffering of wildlife.

Councillor Cara Reed made the notice of motion, which council approved Nov. 2

There have been a number of incidents in the Okanagan of deer being killed or injured by spiked fences set up around residential neighbourhoods.

Just a few weeks ago, a fawn in Vernon died on Middleton Mountain.

Area resident Michelle Gregoire said the fawn was a twin, which she and other neighbours enjoyed watching.

“I implore those in new construction or with existing fences to seek alternatives, this is an all too often and torturous occurrence,” she said.

Two deer were also euthanized after becoming impaled on fences in Kelowna at the end of December, and another was impaled on Westside Road.

READ MORE: Two deer euthanized after becoming impaled, stuck on Kelowna fences

“Conservation officers want to remind the public that some fences can be very dangerous to deer and other wildlife… These fences can cause animals pain and suffering as they struggle to free themselves and in many cases die stuck on the fence,” Kelowna Conservation Officer Ken Owens told Black Press Media following the December incident.

He said this is not unique to the Central Okanagan; it is also happening in other communities around B.C., especially from mid-December to mid-April.

Owens explained there are two primary fence designs that pose a threat to wildlife; wrought iron fences with pointed pickets above the top rail, and wrought iron fences with top rails spaced less than 12 inches apart.

In Kelowna, wrought iron fences with pointed pickets rising above a horizontal rail are illegal, banned by a City of Kelowna bylaw.

But that’s not the case in Vernon.

CO Tanner Beck offers a solution to those who have such ‘deadly’ decorative fences.

“Any of the spikes above the top bar, just cutting those off would be a quick fix,” Beck said, adding that owners could also put a two-by-six piece of wood on top of the spikes.

READ MORE: Westside deer impaled by fence believed dead: CO


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Wildlife