Killing of animals is an important task to be per-
formed by veterinarians. Killing decisions and their
implementation often raise ethical questions. As a
result of an interdisciplinary workshop targeting the
subject «killing of animals» with veterinarians and
ethicists, a three-dimensional decision scheme was de-
veloped. Whereas the first two dimensions are focused
on the animal’s past and future life and are discussed
with regard to life quality and life accomplishment
(the «telos»), the third dimension incorporates the
reason to kill and may integrate the concept of dignity.
This form of dignity and the weighing of interests are
applied to example scenarios and the resulting respon-
sibilities of veterinarians and society are discussed.