Chris Packham, the sometimes controversial host of BBC Springwatch, this week gave his thoughts on a range of wildlife issues while visiting Horsham’s Capitol Theatre.
In an interview with Philip Mansbridge, CEO of Horsham wildlife charity Care for the Wild, the respected presenter touched on issues ranging from the proposed badger cull in England this summer, to the rise in ivory poaching in Africa.
“As you’d expect, Chris is an expert in all aspects of wildlife, and he’s not backward in expressing his views.
“It was great to get the chance to chat to him and share thoughts, and it was encouraging to know that he supports projects that we are running such as campaigns on badgers and hares, and on animal-friendly tourism.
“I’m sure the audience at the Capitol had a great time watching him because he’s worth every penny!”
Among the subjects covered in the interview were:
The pilot badger cull, proposed for this summer. Chris Packham said: “I’m vehemently against this badger cull. The science that dictates my decision – I’m governed by my head, not my heart on this one, is that it won’t work.”
Care for the Wild are campaigning for a close-season in the shooting of hares, which at the moment are shot at an average of 1,000 a day: “Not having a close-season is out of date, it’s irresponsible and it’s immoral. I completely support Care for the Wild’s campaign on this.”
RIGHT-tourism is a Care for the Wild project which allows tourists to check the country where they are travelling to ensure their holiday is ‘animal-friendly’: “I think this is an absolutely brilliant idea. If people can log onto your site and make decisions before they book up, before they travel, I fully support this.”
Ivory poaching is at record levels across Africa. Some people think that ivory ‘stockpiles’ should be sold legally – what does Chris think? “Burn it. Drag it out of the warehouses and burn the lot.”
At the recent CITES conference, polar bears failed to receive protection from a trade ban: “You and I can go to Canada and pay to kill these animals. It’s inconceivable. Canada is thinking back to front – they’ve embarrassed themselves in front of the world.”
Care for the Wild is a charity based in Sussex dedicated to the protection of wildlife in the UK and abroad.
For more information seewww.careforthewild.com.
The full video is on YouTube.