BASC urges BBC to drop Pack­ham as false Twit­ter claim cre­ates out­rage

Sporting Shooter - - News -

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.”

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