In a statement to Shooting Times magazine, the League said the Autumnwatch presenter’s recent comments on culling, widely covered in the national popular press, were incompatible with its beliefs.

Packham had appeared on the animal rights group’s roster of celebrity supporters, just below Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon.

However, Steve Taylor, the League’s head of campaigns & communications, said: “We didn’t feel that it was appropriate for a celebrity supporter to refer to animals being ‘blasted’. Whilst we don’t oppose wildlife management per se, we do oppose that management becoming recreational.”

Packham used an article in The Sun to explain his original comments which appeared in the Radio Times to promote the news series of Autumnwatch.

He wrote: “People are confused and upset by my comments on controlling animal populations through culling. But I have learned that such culls are essential to maintain the habitats where these animals live.”

Although he was unavailable to comment due to filming commitments, Shooting Times understands that Packham was unaware of the League’s decision to drop him, and feels he was misquoted.

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