TV presenter Chris Packham contacts police after dead crows left outside home

25 April 2019, 18:29 | Updated: 25 April 2019, 22:38

Wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham has contacted police in Hampshire after dead crows were left hanging outside his home.

WARNING: Graphic image below

The "vandalism" at his gate comes after the TV host supported a legal challenge which led to restrictions on shooting "pest" birds.

Natural England has revoked three general licences which allowed the killing of 16 species of bird, including crows, magpies, Canada geese and feral and wood pigeons.

Packham, a BBC Springwatch presenter and campaigner, tweeted a picture of the crows, adding: "This was my gate this morning (it was vandalised) @HantsPolice & lawyers have been informed.

"So @BASCnews @NFUtweets @CAupdates @FarmersWeekly @Gameandwildlife @NaturalEngland can I ask you to comment on whether you condone this . Serious request - replies expected."

The BASC (British Association for Shooting and Conservation) responded: "We absolutely condemn such behaviour @ChrisPackham.

"We are clear - there is no place for illegality in the countryside.

"Will you also condemn the illegal behaviour of those who target legitimate rural businesses, such as those who release pheasants from game farms?"

Natural England also tweeted: "Hello @ChrisGPackham - of course we don't condone this type of behaviour, it's never justified no matter how strongly people feel about an issue."

The legal challenge was brought by Wild Justice, which includes wildlife campaigners Dr Mark Avery and Dr Ruth Tingay, as well as Packham.

The move sparked a backlash from members of the British Game Alliance and many farmers, who say pigeons need to be controlled in order to protect crops.

Natural England has said it would look to bring in "alternative measures" to allow the lawful shooting of the bird species to continue.

It said that, until then, those wanting to kill the birds where there is no reasonable non-lethal alternative will have to apply for an individual licence.

Meanwhile, a change.org petition calling on the BBC to "sack Chris Packham" had received more than 92,000 signatures.