Anheuser-Busch has stopped chopping off the tails of its Clydesdale horses, used since 1933 to market its Budweiser brand, after increasing pressure from animal rights activists who condemned the practice as cruel.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, was behind the push to get Anheuser-Busch to keep Clydesdales’ naturally long tails long.
The group started one Investigation That revealed that the St. Louis, Missouri-based beer producer not only amputated the horses’ tails – an extension of the spine that protects the animals from biting insects to maintain balance and communicate with other horses – but them also choppy unethical ways.
“Budweiser is keeping an ugly secret,” PETA said in a video on the topic. “Before the beautiful horses are harnessed to the beer wagon – when they are still foals – their tails are mutilated… just to give them a certain look.”
“Part or all of the tail is removed, either with a scalpel or with a tight band that cuts off blood flow, causing the tail to die,” PETA noted.
In other hidden camera clips, Budweiser employees could be seen insisting that the tails were not docked, but “just trimmed weekly.”
“They still have their tails. It’s just that they cut hair,” said one worker.
However, a Clydesdale handler discovered that the horses did not actually have full tails. “I’m not exactly sure when Budweiser does this, but it usually happens when they’re pretty young,” the handler said in another undercover video.
Horsetail docking is illegal in 10 U.S. states – including Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio and Washington – as well as in countries such as Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Belgium, where Anheuser-Busch’s parent company AB InBev is based .
AB InBev confirmed this The Wall Street Journal that Budweiser stopped amputating horses’ tails this year, although no time frame was given.
“The safety and well-being of our beloved Clydesdales is our top priority,” AB InBev said in a statement to The Journal on Wednesday.
Anheuser-Busch representatives did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Kathy Guillermo, PETA’s senior vice president, told The Post: “PETA employees are breaking out a few cold ones today to celebrate Budweiser ending cruelty by agreeing to stop painfully cutting horses’ tailbones.” “This victory comes after dozens of PETA protests, nationwide advertising campaigns and appeals from more than 121,000 concerned consumers, sending a signal to other companies that animal abuse doesn’t sell.”
At Anheuser-Busch’s websitethe beer brand boasts that its fleet of 250 Clydesdales — which have promoted Budweiser in holiday and Super Bowl commercials and parades since 1933 — travel the country with a team of experienced groomers “at least 10 months a year.”
Another separate team oversees the horses’ diet, which consists of up to 60 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per Clydesdale daily.
During each appearance, a team of six Clydesdales carry a red, white and gold beer wagon and wear a harness and collar that weigh about 130 pounds, Anheuser-Busch said.
The move to ban tail docking comes after the brewery suffered a months-long culture clash over its controversial Bud Light ad featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Since Mulvaney’s social media campaign featuring America’s once-favorite beer went live on April 1, Bud Light has lost its top spot to Mexican lager Modelo Especial.
The latest data from Bump Williams Consulting and Nielsen IQ also showed that Bud Light sales fell 27% in the four weeks ending in early September – suggesting the embattled beer continues to gain ground on rivals Modelo, Coors Light and Yuengling loses.