SHAFAQNA – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered questions about hunting and animal rights.
Question: What is the point of view of the religion about animal rights? What is the ruling about harming animals which do not bother human being or even animals which can bother human being but pose no danger to them? Can harming animals be an activity of leisure? Can competitions be arranged by torturing and harming animals such as bullfight which may endanger the life of the animal and the bullfighter and the killing of the bull? Can animals which are considered Najis (unclean) by the religion such as pig and dog be harmed? It is said that religious elders used to give some of their food to tamed Haram meat animals or wild animals, and have recommended about taking care of them, are there any authentic documents in this regard?
If organisations such as the environmental agency declare an animal as an endangered kind, and forbid hunting it, can that animal be hunted according to religious laws? Even when it is permissible to hunt, what are the recommendations and precautions of the religion (in this regard)?
The Grand Ayatollah Sistani: 1) It is appropriate to avoid harming/bothering animals. 2) If the religious authority prohibits it, it is not allowed to violate that (to act against it).
Source: PERSIAN SHAFAQNA