In the furore over the luring of popular lion Cecil, out of the Hwange Game Reserve to be shot by a bow hunter we have had numerous people ask us these questions. This is my response:
The Scripture is clear: "A good man is kind to his animals but the wicked are cruel to theirs." Proverbs 12:10. Cruelty to animals is by definition, wicked. Matthew Henry's Commentary on this verse reflects traditional Reformed Christian teaching.
Creation and Stewardship
First and foremost, all animals belong to God (Psalm 50:10-11). They are God's animals and we are accountable to our Creator, for how we treat them (2 Corinthians 5:10). The Doctrine of Creation requires us to prize and value God's creatures (Genesis 1:24-25). The Creation Mandate makes clear that we are accountable to God for how we improve and care for His Creation (Genesis 1:28).