BASC has accused BBC Countryfile presenter Chris Packham of misleading consumers with his endorsement of an anti-shooting campaign which falsely claimed the support of a host of leading UK companies

Chris Packham’s latest grouse against fieldsports is, literally, grouse.

The BBC presenter has been using his public profile to endorse an anti-grouse shooting campaign being run by Ethical Consumer: “Stop Corporate Grouse Shooting Days”.

Of coure, grouse shooting contributes an impressive £100m a year to the UK economy and provides much-need local employment.

A fact seemingly brushed aside by Ethical Consumer who stated : “We are now calling upon UK companies to treat grouse shooting as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issue. We know that grouse shooting estates offer tailor made ‘corporate days’ for businesses to shoot grouse on the UK’s moorlands, and given the environmental and animal welfare implications of this pursuit we want businesses to make a stand against it.”

Waitrose, Premier Inn, Costa Coffee, Next and Allianz have confirmed they have not given permission for the ‘Ethical Consumer’ co-operative to use their logos on its website to suggest support for the campaign.

 

BASC and the Countryside Alliance are united in their condemnation of Chris Packham.

Bullying the high street

BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “This is an epic fail and Chris Packham’s latest attempt at bullying the high street is unravelling before his eyes.

“We are pleased that the Ethical Consumer appears to be admitting they have got it wrong and are slowly removing the offending logos. We also have emails from other major companies telling us they have asked for their logos to be taken down. It remains to be seen how long that takes.

“But it appears the message is not getting through to Chris Packham. He continues to whip up a social media frenzy around this issue.

“His behaviour is unethical and dishonest and his involvement in promoting this website is another abuse of his position with the BBC. He is abusing his celebrity status as a tool for bullying these companies and the BBC needs to take action.

“Enough is enough.”

 

Fervent campaign against legal shooting

Liam Stokes, the Countryside Alliance’s head of shooting, said: “Packham’s haranguing of businesses is the latest escalation of his fervent campaign against legal shooting.

“In September 2016 the BBC Trust advised the BBC to formally assess Packham’s campaigning activities to make sure they didn’t undermine BBC impartiality. We are one year further down the line and it is clear that the BBC has completely lost control of the situation.

“We have written to the BBC asking if they intend to take the BBC Trust’s recommendation seriously, and we will not let this lie.”

What the companies say

“We have spoken with Ethical Consumer and asked for them to remove our logos from their campaign.” – Whitbread

“We have not given permission for our logo to be used.” – Next

“Taking part in grouse shooting events is a matter for other organisations and individuals. We did not give permission for our logo to be used.”– Allianz

“We’ll be asking for our logo to be removed from the website.” – SSE

“We did not complete the questionnaire itself. We simply provided a very brief factual statement.” – Stagecoach

“We are entirely neutral on this issue and are not taking a position in this debate.” – Hargreaves Lansdown