Anheuser-Busch Says It Has Stopped Cutting The Tails Off Its Clydesdale Horses

The practice known as tail docking artificially shortens a horse's tail. Budweiser says it has stopped the practice on its signature Clydesdales, seen here in 2012.
(Photo via; David J. Phillip/AP)
The practice known as tail docking artificially shortens a horse’s tail. (Photo via; David J. Phillip/AP)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:34 PM – Thursday, September 21, 2023

Anheuser-Busch has announced that it has stopped amputating the tails of its signature Budweiser Clydesdale horses.


Following a pressure campaign from PETA, an animal rights group, the beer company released a statement on Wednesday saying “The safety and well-being of our beloved Clydesdales is our top priority. The practice of equine tail docking was discontinued earlier this year.”

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, docking, which is banned in some states and countries, traditionally involves cutting off the end of the tailbone of a horse to prevent the tail from interfering with harnesses and carriage equipment.

PETA launched a campaign earlier this year denouncing the beermaker’s activities, including an unofficial Super Bowl advertisement rebuking Budweiser’s decades-long practice of releasing ads showing the horses pulling its beer wagons.

The animal rights group shared the video that they claimed was shot at Warm Springs Ranch in Missouri, the official breeding facility for Budweiser’s Clydesdales, and Grant’s Farm, a Busch family property.

The footage showed horses at the farms furiously swinging their shorter tails, presumably slapping insects away with limited effect.

According to the press, the practice of docking has its roots as an old tradition meant to keep a horse’s tail from becoming tangled in the harness or equipment, but today it is mostly done for cosmetic purposes. 

The tails on Budweiser Clydesdales are then “formed into buns and adorned with ribbons,” for public events.

The announcement came after PETA and other animal rights organizations wrote to Jason Warner, CEO of Anheuser-Busch’s Europe Zone, earlier this month, demanding that the corporation “immediately prohibit” the surgery on the Clydesdales. 

After Anheuser-Busch confirmed that it had stopped the practice, PETA said its staff would celebrate by “cracking open some cold ones.”

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