Lapwinggate – Packham wades in (again)

As a regular commentator on shooting, you would expect Chris Packham to know something about the subject of which he is so critical.

As vice-chairman of the RSBP, you might also expect him to know something about birds.

But his latest outburst could cast doubt on that. The BBC wildlife presenter claimed on Twitter, on Sunday, that despite a 53 per cent decrease in the lapwing population, the birds were ‘still being shot’.

The tweet linked through to a website created by Packham, urging people to sign a petition calling for a memorandum on hunting ‘critically declining’ wading birds.

What he failed to recognise, however, is that lapwings are fully protected under the 1991 Wildlife and Countryside Act and are not shot in the UK.

Many farmers and rural leaders took to twitter to correct Packham in the wake of his faux pas.

The tweet has led some to claim that Packham deliberately lied to grab headlines and convince his followers to sign the petition under false pretences.

Packham himself claims he made an error, saying the tweet was ‘incorrectly worded’.

Whichever scenario is correct, these facts remain: if Packham did make an error, then he is not sufficiently informed about shooting to be regarded as a credible authority. After all, knowing the difference between legal quarry and protected species is one of the first things anyone with an interest in shooting must learn.

If Packham lied, then he has proved himself unfit to have any voice on these matters whatsoever.

Either way, his views should be disregarded for he has discredited himself. It is time he stepped away from the shooting debate altogether.

About the Author:

Nick is an extremely keen shot and amateur cook, often in that order but only if he manages to hit something. He is a regular game shot in and around his native county of Yorkshire and holds the DSC1 qualification. He is also a big fan of tweed, red wine, scotch and tea!

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