Planned Des Moines Appearances of Mutilated Clydesdales Spark PETA Uproar

For Immediate Release:
August 3, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Des Moines, Iowa – After learning that the Budweiser Clydesdales, whose tailbones have been cruelly amputated, are scheduled to make appearances through this weekend at Des Moines–area grocery stores and Prairie Meadows racetrack, PETA sent letters this morning to Hy-Vee District Store Director Brett Shelman, Clive Fareway Meat & Grocery Manager Josh Johnson, and Prairie Meadows Vice President of Racing Derron Heldt urging them not to host the disfigured animals.

As PETA recently revealed in a damning video exposé, Budweiser has been severing the 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—just 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 the American Association of Equine Practitioners and is illegal in 10 states and a number of countries.

“Horses need their tails, and cutting them off causes immense suffering, affects their balance, and removes their first line of defense against biting and disease-spreading insects,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Budweiser disfigures horses to sell beer, and PETA is urging Iowa businesses to tell the King of Tears to stay away.”

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, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind