Chris Packham led a protest march on Downing Street on 12th August 2017 and whilst promoting it called game shooters 'psychopaths' in a quote given to the Badger Trust website.

The ‘Make Badger Culling, Fox Hunting & Driven Grouse Shooting History’ march called for the banning of legal grouse shooting and legal hunting and an end to the Government’s badger cull policy. Whilst promoting this protest march Mr Packham called game shooters “psychopaths” in a quote given to the Badger Trust website.

Speaking before the march Chris Packham said: “A rapidly growing number of people have had enough cruelty and criminality in the UK countryside . We’ve had it with snares , lead shot , illegal persecution , we’ve had it with a lack of scientifically informed decisions and animals being ripped to pieces with dogs , we’ve had it with our dwindling wildlife being wasted by psychopaths who kill for pleasure .”

Countryside Alliance alerts BBC

The Countryside Alliance had specifically asked that Mr Packham be asked not lead to the protest march on 12 August if the BBC wish to continue commissioning him as a presenter. At the time of writing, the BBC does not appear to have taken any action.  

 

Impartiality?

In September 2016 the BBC Trust recommended the BBC undertake regular, formal assessments of Mr Packham’s campaigning to ensure it does not undermine the BBC’s impartiality. This recommendation was issued on the basis of Mr Packham referring to game shooters as “the nasty brigade”.

The BBC Trust report stated:

“It will be important for both the BBC and Mr Packham to assess regularly and formally his freelance and campaigning work to ensure that it does not undermine the impartiality and independence of his work for the BBC which audiences clearly value highly.”

The Alliance has now written again to the BBC to point out that Mr Packham’s campaigning has intensified and his language become more offensive, clearly indicating a failure to manage the potential conflict of interest as the BBC continues to commission Mr Packham to present its flagship wildlife programming.

 

 

Liam Stokes, Head of Shooting, Countryside Alliance said:

We are disappointed that the BBC has chosen not to act on our letter and seems to have no intention of enforcing the findings of last year’s BBC Trust report. We will not let this matter rest, and will be formally following up our concerns.”