Budweiser Clydesdales handler walks several Clydesdales in Houston, March 31, 2014.
James Nielsen | Houston Chronicle via Getty Images
Anheuser-Busch InBev said it will no longer cut the tails of the iconic Clydesdale horses used in its signature Budweiser commercials and at events, following extended backlash from animal rights groups.
The beverage maker, which has seen sales suffer after criticism of its partnership with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney, debuted its horse-drawn beer wagon nearly a century ago to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition of beer. The Clydesdale horses instantly became a hit with audiences and Anheuser-Busch has since used them in hundreds of appearances across the country each year for parades, television commercials and Super Bowl events.
However, the practice known as “docking,” which can involve cutting through a horse’s tailbone, has come under scrutiny. Anheuser-Busch announced on Wednesday that it had stopped cutting off horses’ tails. The safety and wellbeing of our beloved Clydesdales are our highest priority. The American Veterinary Medical Association has also condemned it. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which conducted an investigation and found that Budweiser horses’ tails were docked cosmetically for reasons of appearance, condemned the practice as a “crude mutilation” PETA found that some Anheuser-Busch representatives claimed to have trimmed the hairs from the tails, rather than cutting them off. PETA purchased stock to express its concerns at shareholder meetings. This was in addition to the protests and other measures the group took. “
Along with announcing that it would end the practice, the beer maker also announced a partnership with
American humane, which is the largest certifier for animal welfare practices in the world.