BASC has accused Chris Packham of misleading the public with his endorsement of an anti-shooting campaign which falsely claims the support of a host of leading UK companies.

Posts on the BBC presenter’s social media accounts claim a number of high-profile companies have given ‘positive responses’ to a survey organised by the ‘Ethical Consumer’ co-operative.

A link on the co-operative’s website asks companies to complete five questions in the survey and “publicly distance themselves from the grouse shooting industry”.

Ethical Consumer claim to have received positive responses from Premier Inn, Costa Coffee, Stagecoach, Next, TUI Group, SSE, Allianz, Aldi, Waitrose and Hargreaves Lansdown. The website has also published the logos of these companies in a format which implies their endorsement.

All the companies named have been contacted by BASC in an attempt to establish their positions and replies received so far from Waitrose, Whitbread (Premier Inn and Costa Coffee), Next, Stagecoach, SSE and Hargreaves Lansdown have said those companies deny providing a ‘positive’ response to the survey. Several of the companies have told BASC they have requested their logos be removed from the Ethical Consumer website – including Waitrose, Whitbread, Allianz and Next.

BASC chairman Peter Glenser said: “This is demonstrably gross misrepresentation of the truth by the Ethical Consumer co-operative. Chris Packham has been reckless in trying to whip up support. There is nothing ethical about this behaviour.

“We have spoken with Ethical Consumer and asked for them to remove our logos from their campaign”
– Whitbread

“This is an example of corporate bullying, an attempt by those who dislike lawful, ethical shooting to instil in these companies the fear of a potentially damaging consumer boycott. It is a clear tactic of the anti-shooting extremists to take their campaign to the high street.

“Like much of the campaign against grouse shooting, however, the facts behind the rhetoric just don’t stack up.”

“Packham’s involvement in promoting this website is another abuse of his position with the BBC. He has previously been in trouble with the BBC for his social media posts and we ask them to again reconsider their relationship with him.”

“Taking part in grouse shooting events is a matter for other organisations and individuals to decide”
– Allianz

“We have not given permission for our logo to be used”
– Next

Garry Doolan

Garry Doolan is BASC’s deputy director of communications and public affairs. He has more than 20 years experience of journalism and the media. He joined the organisation in 2016 and is a keen shooter and beater, with his springer spaniel Quincy.

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