Anheuser-Busch ‘mutilates’ Budweiser Clydesdale horses: PETA


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PETA plans to rain on Budweiser’s Super Bowl parade by exposing the beer giant’s “ugly secret” of mutilatingits Clydesdales to keep their tails short, The Post has learned.

Anheuser-Busch has bought up several minutes worth of advertising spots for Sunday’s matchup between the Eagles and Chiefs in Glendale, Ariz. — including one entitled “A Clydesdale’s Journey.”

But PETA claims the dirty truth behind the journey of a Clydesdale is a practice called “docking,” which involves cutting through a horse’s tailbone.

“Budweiser is keeping an ugly secret,” proclaims a PETA-produced video, which includes interviews with Budweiser horse handlers.

The video goes on to say Budweiser representatives mislead the public about the short tails by claiming they are “trimmed,” implying that just the hair is cut.

Instead, PETA’s investigation claims to have found the Clydesdales’ tailbones are removed with a scalpel or a tight band that cuts off the blood flow, causing the tail to die off.

Budweiser began using Clydesdale horses to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition.

“It’s the same kind of mutilation that’s done to certain breeds of dogs,” Kathy Guillermo, a PETA vice president, told The Post. “But the horses rely on their tails to swat away flies and vets tell us that the tails are important for balance when they are turning or stopping.”

The procedure is banned in 10 states and several countries around the world including the UK and Germany. The American Veterinary Medical Association does not endorse the practice for cosmetic purposes, the group says on its website.

“The safety and wellbeing of our beloved Clydesdales is our top priority,” an Anheuser spokesperson said. “Combined with our highly trained staff of professional caretakers, we partner with an equine medical expert to ensure our animals receive the highest level and quality of care. For 90 years the iconic Clydesdales have represented the best of the American spirit and have made a positive impact across our country in communities large and small.”

Clydesdale horses pulling a Budweiser wagon.
PETA is launching a campaign against Anheuser-Busch over the tail docking issue during Super Bowl weekend.
Matt Cowan

The animal activist group plans to fly a banner over State Farm Stadium and the nearby tailgating party before kickoff to bring attention to its investigation.

The group will also follow the horses around Phoenix over the weekend with a mobile billboard truck and a television ad will be released this month in regional markets, PETA said. 

PETA reached out to Anheuser-Busch chief executive Brendan Whitworth last month but did not hear back, Guillermo said.

A horse and foals behind a fence.
The Clydesdales’ tails are docked when the horses are foals.

Anheuser-Busch has used the massive horses in its signature Budweiser commercials and at promotional events to pull wagons of beer for decades. The tradition of docking their tails was meant to keep their hair from getting tangled in the wagon hitches, but it’s used for purely cosmetic purposes today, Guillermo said.

The company began using Clydesdales 90 years ago to celebrate the repeal of prohibition. 

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