No excuse!

Dear Friends

It is amazing what excuses people will conjure up when faced with the unacceptability of their behaviour.  Right now, the wildlife trophies of Houston billionaire, Dan Duncan, are on display in a Federal courthouse as the prosecution and defence consider what actually happened on a 2002 Russian hunting trip.  The prosecutors claim that the trophies festooned around the courthouse, were taken illegally – shot from helicopters, taken without permit and illegally imported into the US. 

Robert Kern of The Hunting Consortium, who owns the Company, is charged with knowingly importing trophies through Bush Intercontinental Airport in contravention of foreign law but it is the excuse of Tim Heaphy, the Virginia lawyer representing the defendants, that leaps out of this sorry story. 

Mr Heaphy is quoted as saying that “This was a charitable economic hunt — a meat-gathering excursion to feed villagers in a very impoverished, remote part of Russia”. Huh! Sorry?  You mean the hundreds and thousands of dollars that was spent travelling half-way around the world to shoot these animals was an act of charity??!

Russian law prohibits shooting from helicopters unless for economic purposes and therein lies the potential loophole – you can shoot the animals as long as you are providing economic help – never mind the ‘by-product’, the trophies!  I think we all know what the real purpose was.  I just hope that the prosecution proves it.

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