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World Land Trust debate tackles controversial subject of hunting and its impact on conservation

21 August, 2014 - 14:51 -- World Land Trust
Related topics: 
Chris Packham

August 2014: International conservation charity World Land Trust (WLT) is holding a public event to debate the arguments for and against hunting and its impact on wildlife and conservation at the Royal Society on 2 September 2014.

The subject of hunting and its impact on wildlife and conservation inspires a range of opinions and (often) extreme emotions. Rarely are both sides of the argument discussed in public.

On one side of the argument are nature protectionists who believe passionately that killing for sport is not only incompatible with the preservation of wildlife but is directly responsible for the decline of certain species.

On the other side are the sport hunters who believe equally passionately that field sports and wildlife management are an essential part of nature conservation.

“An open debate about the impact of sport hunting on wildlife and conservation is long overdue and it is time for arguments for and against hunting to be exposed to public scrutiny,” said John Burton, WLT Chief Executive.


Panellists will include Chris Packham, Patron of World Land Trust, and Bill Oddie, a WLT Ambassador and Council Member. Both have been both been campaigning to ban the shooting of migrant birds in Malta, Cyprus and other countries around the Mediterranean. Bill will consider the moral and aesthetic aspects of hunting and the type of people who are sports hunters, whether they are in Malta or Scotland.

Also speaking out against the impacts of hunting is Mark Avery, another WLT Council member, who helped organise the recent peaceful protests on Hen Harrier Day against wildlife crime associated with grouse shooting.

Speaking in favour of the conservation benefits of game management is Andrew Gilruth, Director of Membership and Communications at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, and James Barrington, animal welfare consultant.

John Burton will reflect on the impact of hunting on WLT’s overseas conservation programmes and Garry Marvin, social anthropologist and Professor of Human-Animal Studies at the University of Roehampton, will discuss the expectations, experiences and practices of recreational hunters. 

Controversial Conservation 2014 with Chris Packham is at the Royal Society, London on 2 September 2014, 7pm.

Tickets: £20/£25/£30, available online from or from World Land Trust. Call (01986) 874422 or email with the subject line Controversial Conservation

Full press release and notes for editors including panel member biographies: PDF

Media interviews
To arrange an interview with Chris Packham or other members of the panel during the afternoon of 2 September, or to reserve a press ticket, contact McCluskey International, Judy McCluskey / Sarah Salord / Jessica Meins
T: 020 8747 2170 E:

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