For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Houston – The Budweiser Clydesdales, whose tails have been cruelly amputated, are scheduled to appear at Minute Maid Park on Thursday for the Houston Astros Opening Day. This morning, PETA dispatched a letter to the stadium’s senior vice president of marketing and communication, Anita Sehgal, urging her to cancel the event in order to avoid appearing to support the practice.
As PETA recently revealed in a damning video exposé, Budweiser has been secretly severing 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—all so the Clydesdales will look a certain way when hitched to a beer wagon. Tailbone amputation for cosmetic reasons is condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association and is illegal in 10 states and a number of countries.
“Budweiser presents the iconic 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 Sehgal follows.
March 28, 2023
Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communication
Minute Maid Park
Dear Ms. Sehgal:
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 request that you prohibit the Budweiser Clydesdales from making an appearance at Minute Maid Park as Anheuser-Busch cruelly amputates the tailbones of these 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 permanent disfigurement that causes immense pain, affects the horses’ balance, and leaves them without natural protection from flies or 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, and the company’s lack of concern for these iconic animals would reflect poorly on your stadium. Allowing the Budweiser Clydesdales to make an appearance would unfortunately and inadvertently condone the company’s inhumane practice. 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