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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is the Catholic Church's teaching regarding hunting for sports?

A. 1. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we read:

"God entrusted animals to the stewardship of those whom he created in his own image. Hence it is legitimate to use animals for food and clothing. They may be domesticated to help man in his work and leisure. Medical and scientific experimentation on animals is a morally acceptable practice if it remains within reasonable limits and contributes to caring for or saving human lives.

It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. It is likewise unworthy to spend money on them that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery. One can love animals; one should not direct to them the affection due only to persons." [Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2417-18]

To answer your question, when it comes to responsible hunting, the Catholic Church does not object. If a hunter shoots an animal for the sole purpose of watching it suffer and die, such is forbidden. But this is not the case with most hunters. They hunt for the meat and skins of the animals. Some hunt to thin out animal overpopulation where there is an abundance of bears or wolves that are out of control.

Others, professional hunters. hunt for sport such as in trophy hunting. This involves learning how to track animals, gun skills, ensuring no wounded animal is left behind. These hunters are not interested in causing suffering and death to animals.

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