6.8 Is it so bad if pandas go extinct? What if wild beasts are attacking civilisation? Are there limits to animal rights? Should indigenous people continue to hunt?
Pandas are a good example of human preservation which is starting to show results. Other animals are still under threat of extinction. Especially when this is caused by human behaviour, action is mandatory. We are to be the stewards, not the destroyers of the earth (Gen 1:28). Care for animals is very Christian (Prov 12:10). Cruelty to animals is contrary to our dignity.
The safety and wellbeing of people should take precedence over animals (Mt 15:26-27). Sometimes killing a beast is the only way to protect people (1 Sam 17:34-35). Indigenous people who hunt for their own use, usually only kill what they really need in harmony with nature. It would be inhumane to stop them living in their own way, even if in other places the view on hunting may have changed. God gave us the earth and everything on it for our wellbeing, including our health.
What attitude should people have toward animals?
People must treat animals with kindness as creatures of God and avoid both excessive love for them and an indiscriminate use of them especially by scientific experiments that go beyond reasonable limits and entail needless suffering for the animals [CCCC 507].
[Humankind] has the right to dispose at will of non rational beings, plants or animals (which does not free him of the obligation that he has before God, and in keeping with his own dignity, to avoid unnecessary brutality and cruelty), but he does not possess this right over other men or subordinates [Pope Pius XII, To the World Medical Association, 30 Sept. 1954].