BASC urges BBC to drop Packham as false Twitter claim creates outrage
BASC is urging the BBC to drop presenter Chris Packham from negotiations for upcoming shows after he was forced to retract a false claim made on Twitter that protected lapwings are being shot in the UK.
A graphic communicating the lapwing’s 53% population decline was posted with the message, “Despite 53% decline in Lapwings they are still being shot. Please sign petition for moratorium on shooting”, along with a link to the petition page. The protected species are not on the quarry list of birds that can be shot.
Packham has since apologised for misleading his social media followers, but the post appeared at the same time as a national newspaper article claiming the presenter is in talks with the BBC to make more “hard-hitting”, campaigning programmes which could focus on the impact of shooting and hunting on rural economies.
BASC acting chief executive, Christopher Graffius commented: “The BBC should stop working with Chris Packham before their credibility is eroded even further by their association with him.
“If Packham can get the quarry list so wrong, he should not be trusted by the BBC to speak with any authority on shooting.
“Packham’s campaign against shooting has already damaged the BBC’s relationship with rural communities and yet the broadcaster seems intent on aligning itself even more closely with him.
“A review commissioned by the BBC Trust found that some audiences felt the corporation’s rural coverage had ‘metropolitan bias’; if the BBC really does want to analyse the impact of shooting on rural economies, they should remove Packham and listen instead to the views of the people who actually live and work there.
“When the BBC finally acknowledges that shooting is a lifeline for rural communities and vital for conservation – and for the very survival in the UK of birds such as lapwings – perhaps it will then be in a position to start repairing some of the damage done to its reputation by Packham.”