For Immediate Release:
July 12, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Green Bay, Wis. – They can’t swat flies or use their tails to communicate, as horses are meant to do. Even though tailbone amputation for cosmetic reasons is condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association and is illegal in 10 states and even whole countries, the Clydesdale horses, whom Budweiser has subjected to this cruel procedure, are scheduled to appear at a Green Bay Rockers game at Capital Credit Union Park on Friday. Today, PETA sent a letter to the team’s event manager, Kelly Hawkins, urging her to reconsider hosting the horses until Anheuser-Busch (which owns Budweiser) bows to growing pressure to end the mutilations.
As PETA’s damning video exposé shows, Budweiser has been quietly severing the magnificent horses’ tailbones—either with a scalpel or with a tight band that stops the blood supply to the tail, causing it to die and fall off—so that the horses will look a certain way when hitched to a beer wagon.
“Budweiser presents the Clydesdales as symbols of traditional American values, but harming horses is the antithesis of what Americans hold dear,” writes PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “We hope you will speak with Anheuser-Busch executives and urge them to discontinue tailbone severing and, in the meantime, cancel the upcoming scheduled appearance.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Hawkins follows.
July 12, 2023
Green Bay Rockers
Dear Ms. Hawkins,
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally—to urge you cancel the appearance of Budweiser Clydesdales at the Green Bay Rockers game. You may not be aware that Anheuser-Busch cruelly amputates the tailbones of these magnificent horses. PETA exposed the company’s practice in a recent undercover investigation. Please see the video here.
The amputation of the horses’ tailbones, either by severing the tailbone or putting a tight band around the tail to cut off blood flow, is done just to make the horses look a certain way. It’s an unnecessary and permanent disfigurement that causes immense pain, affects the horses’ balance, and leaves them without natural protection from flies and other biting insects. Horses also depend on their tails to communicate with herdmates and with humans.
Both the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association condemn severing horses’ tails unless it’s medically necessary. Many European countries, including Belgium, where Anheuser-Busch is headquartered, have banned this practice, as have 10 U.S. states. If Budweiser is concerned that tail hair might become entangled in a wagon’s hitch equipment, simple braiding and wrapping of the tails would prevent this possibility.
Budweiser presents the iconic Clydesdales as symbols of traditional American values, but harming horses is the antithesis of what Americans hold dear. We hope you will speak with Anheuser-Busch executives and urge them to discontinue tailbone severing and, in the meantime, cancel the upcoming scheduled appearance.
Thanks very much for your consideration. May I please hear from you?
Senior Vice President
Equine Matters Department