Tzaar Baalei Chayim

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Tzaar Baalei Chayim

  1. If there’s a need for people it’s permissible to kill animals such as killing a fly that’s bothering someone who’s eating or mice who ate eating one’s food. However, it’s preferable to kill the animals by the use of something else and not to kill them with one’s hands directly unless that’s impossible. [1]
  2. It is permissible to have a zoo and it isn't considered tzaar baalei chayim since it is for the purpose of people and also the animals aren't mistreated. If someone wants to be strict they may do so and Hashem will bless them.[2]
  3. If an animal is suffering and is not going to survive it is permissible to kill it to alleviate its pain.[3]

Sources

  1. The Rama EH 5:14 writes that for a health reason or another need this prohibition is waived. Similarly, Rav Moshe in Igrot Moshe CM 2:47 writes that it is permitted to kill a bug that is ruining food or is bothering people. In any event, he adds, in order to avoid a practice that may engender cruelty, if it’s possible one shouldn’t kill the bug directly but rather by placing an object on top of it. Sh”t Mishneh Halachot 12:284 and Chut Shani (Shabbat vol 1, p. 124) agree.
  2. Teshuvot Aseh Lecha Rav 1:69
  3. Tzaar Baalei Chayim Bhalacha p. 298 quoting the Chazon Ish. In that chapter, he quotes that most poskim hold there is an obligation, either biblical or rabbinic, to alleviate the pain of an animal suffering even though one didn't inflict the pain. Though he explains the opinion of Rav Moshe (Dibrot Moshe b"m 30:2) is that there's no obligation to help an animal in pain unless it is your animal.