Springwatch presenter Chris Packham pulls out of dog festival appearance after death threats

Chris Packham urged people not to boycott the event Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

TV presenter Chris Packham has been forced to pull out of appearing at a dog festival after receiving death threats over his campaign on bird shooting.

The organisers of Dogstival which is being held in the New Forest, Hampshire, said they feared protesters would target the Springwatch presenter and said there were also concerns about ''the public's safety''.

Packham has campaigned for measures to protect birds from being shot.

However his views have incurred the wrath of the game and shooting industry, as well as many farmers.

Last month he revealed dead crows had been strung up outside his home, and he had received death threats after Natural England revoked licences for shooting 16 species of bird following a legal challenge by the Wild Justice group he founded.

Packham revealed on social media that he and his miniature poodle Scratchy would not be able to attend the event which takes place this weekend - May 18 and 19.

The Springwatch presenter urged his fans not to boycott the festival, writing on Twitter: “Due to incessant vicious bullying from members of the shooting fraternity, Scratchy and I have been asked not to go.

"Please do not boycott this event.”

Dogstival describes itself as a "family friendly festival for dogs and dog lovers" with "arena displays, have a go activities, food and drink and much more".

Packham said protesters had threatened to turn up dressed as birds covered in blood.

Dogstival co-founder Richard Nowell said: “Over the last three weeks we have continued to receive a large number of messages that have caused strong concerns that our event was going to be used as a platform to target Mr Packham.

“As responsible event organisers we have to put the public’s interest first and that is to deliver a day out that is fun, friendly and safe for all members of the family.

“We are disappointed to no longer be working with our host and recognise that people who have purchased tickets in the hope of meeting him may be disappointed.

“But, we have to consider the public’s safety and enjoyment across the weekend, so this is the right decision.”

Chris Packham is known for his controversial views when it comes to nature. Credit: PA