Jackals must be proud to know that there is an Act of Parliament devoted almost entirely to them. There again, by 2010, such unusually high stock losses to jackal and caracal predacity prompted farmers in the Western Cape to demand drastic measures from the Ministers of Agriculture and the Environment. Organised agriculture, in fact, requested that the two species be declared ‘disasters’, which would have allowed their large-scale hunting.1

On 30 August 2016, regulations were promulgated by the Minister for Environmental Affairs to provide norms and standards for the management of damage-causing animals. One of the deterrent methods to manage these wild animals includes fencing.

The Fencing Act 1963 addresses the fencing of farms – and, in particular, jackal-proof fencing. It falls under the authority of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

A. Gates

  1. Any person who opens a gate in a fence and leaves it open, or unfastened, commits a criminal offence.2

  2. Any person who finds, on passing through, an open gate in a fence, and fails to shut and fasten the gate, is guilty of an offence.3

  3. The provisions set out below, under (B) ‘Fences’, apply also to gates.4

B. Fences

  1. Any person who climbs over, or crawls through a fence without the permission of the owner or lessee of the land on which it is situated commits a criminal offence.5 6

  2. Any person who damages, or removes any fence commits a criminal offence.7

  3. In fact, if you unintentionally damage any fence, you must repair it forthwith; and if unable to do so, you must:8
    • report the damage (and the fact that you cannot repair it) to the owner or lessee; and
    • give security to cover the cost of the repair.

    If you fail to comply with these provisions, you are guilty of an offence.

  4. This is not all. If, after you have climbed over or crawled through the fence, and the owner or lessee (or someone they have authorised) asks you, you had better give your name and address correctly, because it is a criminal offence if you do not.9

  2. Section 22(a). 

  3. Section 22(b). 

  4. Section 23. 

  5. This does not apply to members of a registered vermin hunting/destroying club. 

  6. Section 23. 

  7. Section 24. 

  8. Section 26. 

  9. Section 27.