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Dorset based Countryside Alliance boss tackles Radio 4 over Archers dog shooting

By mmanning  |  Posted: December 09, 2013

CountrysideAlliance_chairman

Countryside Alliance executive chairman Barney White Spunner.

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The executive chairman of the Countryside Alliance (CA) has contacted the BBC to complain about the "skewed view of the countryside" presented in a recent episode of BBC Radio 4's The Archers.

Barney White Spunner, who lives in Dorset, was referring to a story line in which a farmer Ed Grundy shot a dog belonging to his gamekeeper brother Will while he was dogging-in pheasants.

"The show seems to imply that Ed was within his rights as a farmer to shoot the dog, the only criticism being that it belonged to his brother - any other dog and it would have been OK, seems to be the attitude," Mr White Spunner said.

"This image of farmers wandering around their land with guns cocked, ready to shoot anything that moves is an unhelpful, unfair and inaccurate representation of the responsibilities of gun-ownership and is also unfair to farmers. If in reality a farmer behaved as Ed has done it would be much more than a family issue. They would be in court and their fitness to hold a firearms licence would be questioned.

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"We have asked the Archers to make clear the true legal situation surrounding this case and take more care in future to ensure the drama gives correct information about shooting and other rural issues. We know Ambridge is not a true representation of the countryside but do all listeners? I don't think so."

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