Countryside Alliance wants BBC to sack Chris Packham

NEVER-MIND-T-SHIRT-DESIGNThe Countryside Alliance has launched an attack on Chris Packham and is urging the BBC to sack him. The basis of their argument is that Chris, in their opinion, is ‘abusing his position’ as a BBC presenter to ‘promote an extreme agenda’ (see here).

Let’s just be clear. This is less to do with the Countryside Alliance’s concerns about BBC impartiality but more to do with them wanting to silence an articulate, thoughtful, well-informed and popular ‘celebrity’ to prevent him expressing views on wildlife crime (particularly hen harrier persecution) and animal welfare issues that just happen to be the polar opposite views of the CA, and thus are labelled by them as ‘extreme’.

It’s not the first time the Countryside Alliance has tried to silence those with opposing opinions. Last year they complained to the Charities Commission about the RSPB’s 2013 BirdCrime Report, claiming it was ‘deliberately misleading’ and ‘promoting an anti-shooting agenda’. Their complaint backfired spectacularly when the Charities Commission told the CA where to get off (see here).

This time, it’s the public telling the CA where to get off. A petition was launched last night in support of Chris Packham and has already attracted over 11,000 signatures from members of the public who admire and appreciate Chris’s principles. You can sign it HERE

And if you’re in the mood for petition-signing, here’s another one that’s deserving of your support: Ban Driven Grouse Shooting – sign it HERE

There’s a good piece in the Guardian today about why the BBC should treasure Chris Packham, not sack him (see here).

It’s easy to see why the Countryside Alliance is really going after Chris. His latest t-shirt design is the perfect response and can be downloaded here.

26 thoughts on “Countryside Alliance wants BBC to sack Chris Packham”

  1. Chris should focus on raptor persecution and stay out of the fox hunting debate which really has little to do with conservation.

    1. Only if you have a contrived narrow concept of conservation. Keep up the good work, Chris, you’re a shining exemplar of compassion and democratic debate.

    2. Can he not do both? Fox hunting is a welfare issue and an abuse of our wildlife, which of course he cares about. These outdated attitudes to the natural environment and the creatures in it must be challenged by everyone who cares.

    3. It’s all bloodsport related, be it raptor persecution, snaring, trapping, poisoning, the general deliberate persecution of most wildlife in the UK including setting a pack of dogs onto a wild mammal and sending dogs underground to savage more mammals, it’s all related, it’s all to do with killing animals for recreation and it’s a bloody British disgrace and if you support any of the above then you are a bloody disgrace.

      1. But we think trapping (and then destroying) mink a good thing for water rats and likewise grey squirrels to preserve the reds – it’s all a bit complicated really isn’t it?

        1. No Pip, it really isn’t complicated at all. Do some reading on North American Mink in Europe and their impact on native wildlife. Likewise, read up on the impact of North American Grey squirrel in Britain, and increasingly in Europe, (fortunately for most of them they still have a viable population of pine marten to control, and possibly eradicate the grey from their country’s).

          1. I do so thank you for your advice. I am well aware of the impact of mink in the Tay and it’s tributaries and of the impact of the greys on the native population of reds – my point was in reference to “It’s all bloodsport related, be it raptor persecution, snaring, trapping, poisoning, the general deliberate persecution of most wildlife in the UK” and the seemingly interdivisibility of what’s regarded as good or bad in that respect. So – yes it is complicated. Pip

  2. Says a lot about the Countryside Alliance that they want someone sacked from their job for speaking out against wildlife criminals! Someone needs to inform them that we live in a democracy where debate in itself is not a crime. Do we ever hear of them demanding that a convicted gamekeeper be sacked? Of course not, because they’re nothing more than hired thugs who are expected to break the law as part of their unwritten job description.

  3. Chris is absolutely right to speak out against continued criminality within the shooting and hunting fraternity. I would add that Chris expressing his own views does not in any case compromise BBC impartiality – the views are clearly his own and there is no attempt to suggest they are the views of the BBC itself. Furthermore the BBC’s guidelines also require ‘due impartiality’ which “is often more than a simple matter of ‘balance’ between opposing viewpoints. Equally, it does not require absolute neutrality on every issue …” Given this is the case, I’d say due impartiality clearly does not require neutrality with regards to criminal behaviour – no-one would expect the BBC to do anything other than condemn other types of crime so why should it be different for illegal persecution of wildlife? Finally I would suggest that the BBC would be insufferably dull if expression of opinion was absolutely and flatly banned and clearly the Corporation can and often does broadcast programmes that express strong opinions. As an example that no-one could reasonably suggest reflects any purported ‘left wing bias’ in the corporation I would point out that Jeremy Clarkson was sacked from the BBC for punching a colleague NOT for frequently expressing forthright opinions (often anti environmental!) on a variety of topics.

  4. I think Chris Packham should voice his views against all forms of unnecessary animal killing. I see any predator killing as uncalled for, proper management would protect farm stock. Whereas wildlife, grouse are wild, should be left to nature to balance the books. It will do and has done for millennia!

    The blood lust of CA and all associates should be satisfied by, “put them to work in an abattoir.”

    Perhaps Jimmy, “fox hunting…..has little to do with conservation.” I don’t agree. But it is an unnecessary act of arrogant and brutal predator control that should be confined to history.

  5. Just posted this: “Chris is right to make a stand against the blood craved killers in our country.
    Tell the Countryside Alliance to clean up their act before attempting to tarnish others.” On the Chris Packham petition.

  6. Well done Chris, keep up your good work on all animal welfare related issues, including fox hunting and raptor persecution. Lets all give the Countryside Alliance a two finger salute!

  7. Sounds very much like Chris has got certain organisations very worried about the future of grouse shooting. How arrogant of these people because someone does not agree with their outdated slaughter of our wildlife they should be sacked.

  8. From what I’ve seen he goes out of his way to be as impartial as possible when on the Beeb. The segment he did on Springwatch and the Springwatch extra show on raptors was laden with disclaimers about what he wouldn’t talk about due to impartiality and ban on campaigning. If anything, his BBC work is too non-confrontational.

  9. The countryside alliance have decided to produce their own wildlife programmes in an attempt to show the British public what really happens in the countryside, the show will be hosted by non other than A listed stars Ian “Beefy” Botham, who fronts the “you forgot the birds campaign” even though he breeds and sells for release thousands of Pheasants each year and completely ignores the fact these birds have a huge environmental impact on our indigenous wildlife.
    Also appearing with Botham will be co presenter Robin Page, “if you wear a suit to work and don’t wear rabbit skin underwear in winter then you’re a townie and you don’t have the knowledge to comment on countryside matters” Robin is renowned for his tell it as it is attitude even when he’s usually talking complete and utter bollocks
    The final member of the team will be Amanda Anderson “the Moorland Ass” who came out with the classic quote “Merlins seem to prefer Grouse Moors,” in the first episode she will be doing an article entitled “fish seem to prefer water”.

    1. I don’t know about fish seem to prefer water, but it does seem that Amanda Anderson “the Moorland Ass” is definately a fish out of water !!!

  10. On a lighter note I have to laugh at the ‘Copyright’ styatement on Chris’ website. I think the Sex Pistols might have prior claim!

  11. It says something about how precious everyone involved with the CA are, complaining about Chris and the BBC delivering a one sided view. A couple of weeks ago Countryfile filmed an entire episode from the Game Fair, painting shooting in a good light, talked about what game keepers did for conservation and didn’t mention anything about raptor killing. It’s a BBC program. No one from the RSPB or other conservation organisations got their knickers in a twist over it. Maybe because they’re adult enough to understand that not every program on TV is supposed to represent them.

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