Entertainment

TV wildlife expert Chris Packham receives letter reading: ‘We want you dead'

The Springwatch presenter has backed restrictions on shooting “pest” birds.

TV wildlife expert Chris Packham has shared a letter he says he received which contains the warning: “We want you dead.”

The BBC Springwatch presenter said he has been the target of abuse after backing a legal challenge which resulted in restrictions on shooting “pest” birds.

Packham was part of an action which resulted in Natural England revoking three general licences which allowed the shooting of 16 species of bird, including crows, magpies, Canada geese and feral and wood pigeons.

He appeared on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday to reveal he and his family had received “threats of a very serious nature” and shared a letter with the Daily Mirror which arrived at his home on Monday.

In block capitals, it says: “We know where you live Packham and we will get you some way or another. We want you dead and we will succeed.

“R.T.A? Poison there are numerous ways… as long as you f***ing die thats (sic) all what matters”.

Chris Packham
Chris Packham said he has been sent death threats after backing a legal challenge which resulted in restrictions on shooting ‘pest’ birds (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Packham told GMB police had spent a “considerable amount of time” at his house over the last few days and he had been sent a package containing human excrement.

Packham said it is not just he and his family being targeted, but also businesses he works with.

“I’m very resistant to this sort of thing,” he said, but added: “What worries me is that the charities that I’m affiliated with, the small businesses that I work for, these people aren’t set up to take this sort of abuse, and yet they’ve had to close their websites, their TripAdvisor accounts have had to be shut down, because they’ve been bombarded by these bullies who want to take aim at me.

“My message is clear. Please, take aim at me, but leave all of the charities, all of the other businesses that I work with, leave them out of it. They’re not necessarily sharing my views.

“They’re not a fair target.”

Packham said he can understand the argument from farmers because they have been “misinformed”.

Bodies including the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC), Countryside Alliance, and the National Gamekeepers Organisation have written an open letter to Environment Secretary Michael Gove calling on him to launch an investigation into Natural England’s decision.

They complained that the revocation of the licences which previously allowed them to freely shoot birds such as carrion crows, wood pigeons, magpies and Canada geese had left them in chaos.

Natural England, the body advising the Government on managing the natural environment, took the decision after it was threatened with legal action by environmentalists.

Wild Justice – whose directors include Packham – sought a judicial review of the licences, which Natural England ultimately decided not to fight, believing it would lose.

As a result, three general licences for controlling wild birds were revoked on April 23, to be replaced by individual licences.

By Friday, only a new licence allowing the killing of carrion crows had been issued.

Bird shooting ban
Chris Packham shared a picture showing dead crows left hanging outside his home after he was part of a legal challenge which resulted in a ban on shooting pigeons and other birds (Chris Packham/PA)

The issue was catapulted to national attention after the bodies of two dead crows were hung from Packham’s gate two days after Natural England’s decision.

BASC condemned the attack on the presenter’s home but said the new licensing rules are causing havoc at one of the busiest times of the farming calendar.

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