Campbell River council adds hefty fines to hen bylaw

Council has made changes to three different bylaws in order to allow residential homeowners to raise poultry in their backyards. And the changes come with some hefty fines.

At its Dec. 17 meeting, council made amendments to its zoning, animal control, and ticketing bylaws.

First up was the zoning bylaw. Council added a clause which will allow backyard hens in all residential areas.

“The keeping of hens within ancillary buildings and fully fenced areas is permitted on properties in all residential zones and the public ares-1 zones provided they comply with urban hen regulations in the animal control bylaw,” reads the zoning amendment.

The regulations include: that all hen owners must first obtain a licence from city hall by paying a one-time, $10 fee; that no more than six hens can be kept on any property; that roosters cannot be kept; that all hens are kept within a secure coop from sunset until 7 a.m.; that a hen does not enter a residential home or on a balcony or deck; that coops and pens be at least three metres away from any windows or doors; and that a hen is not slaughtered or euthanized on the property.

The city has the authority to revoke a hen owner’s licence if an owner is out of compliance with the bylaw and does not correct the infraction within 30 days.

The city may also fine an owner who is in contravention of the bylaw.

All hen infractions are subject to a $100 fine with the exception of eight offences which could get a hen owner slapped with a $200 fine.

The more expensive fine is applied to the following:


  • No perch or nest box


  • Failure to enclose a coop or pen with a fence


  • Hen kept in a cage


  • Prohibited hen food storage


  • Prohibited manure disposal


  • Prohibited hen slaughter or euthanization


  • Prohibited disposal of deceased hen


  • Prohibited hen burying
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