Born Free USA Blog
by Adam M Roberts,
Chief Executive Officer
When it comes to animals, Adam Roberts not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk. Since beginning his animal advocacy career in Washington, D.C. in 1991, Adam's ambition, tireless involvement, and profound knowledge of conservation and wildlife issues have cemented him as a go-to voice for protecting animals — and he has elevated Born Free USA to the respected and impactful organization that we know today. Adam's compassionate, informed, and forward-thinking blogs will surely motivate you to join us in our fight to Keep Wildlife in the Wild.
It is amazing what excuses people will conjure up when faced with the unacceptability of their behavior.
Right now, the wildlife trophies of Houston billionaire, Dan Duncan, are on display in a Federal courthouse as the prosecution and defense 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 U.S.
Robert Kern, owner of The Hunting Consortium, 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 halfway 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.