The Countryside Alliance has raised concerns with Welsh Government over the recent decision by...Read more
The Countryside Alliance has called out the BBC for using unbalanced and misleading information in an article about managing deer populations in Ashdown Forest.
In the original article, the BBC quoted a PETA UK spokesperson as an authoritative voice on deer management. These PETA quotations gave the false impression that deer management is both cruel and ineffective, which is tantamount to misinformation.
There is no evidence to support these claims, conversely deer management through culling is widely accepted by conservationists as an effective and humane method of necessary population management.
The Countryside Alliance’s response to the BBC accused the article of being unacceptably one-sided, in breach of the BBC’s own guidelines, which state they “must be inclusive, considering the broad perspective and ensuring that the existence of a range of views is appropriately reflected”.
We have also urged the BBC not to use PETA for articles on matters of this nature in future.
Although the BBC did not take the original article down given its demonstrable inadequacies, it has now been updated, after 24hrs, to include our comments which act to balance the article and defend deer management as being an humane and environmentally beneficial practice.
Roger Seddon, the Alliance’s Shooting Campaign Manager said:
“It remains disappointing that the article was visible in its original, unbalanced form for a full day before its correction. This is not an acceptable level of service from a trusted news provider like the BBC, which has a responsibility to provide accurate and balanced information to the general public".
“That the BBC considered a fringe group like PETA as being appropriate for unchallenged comment in an article on deer management is cause for great concern and we have urged them to approach the numerous conservation groups that exist who can provide expertise on the subject instead”.