Tailgate Scandal: Super Bowl Clydesdale Mutilation Exposed—PETA Names Budweiser ‘King of Tears’

For Immediate Release:
February 10, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Glendale, Ariz.

As Budweiser celebrates the 90th anniversary of the “World-Famous Budweiser Clydesdales” and plans to parade the horses in Phoenix and Glendale over Super Bowl weekend and on game day, PETA protesters following a mobile billboard will march alongside them, challenging the company’s severing of the horses’ tailbones for strictly cosmetic reasons, as revealed in PETA’s just-released video exposé. The tailgate campaign also includes a TV commercial and an aerial banner that will be flown over State Farm Stadium and nearby tailgating parties hosted by TV chefs Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay on Super Bowl Sunday.

PETA’s exposé details how the cruel practice is carried out: Part of the horse’s spine is severed when some or all tailbones are amputated or the blood supply to the tail is painfully cut off with a tight band, eventually causing it to die and fall off—all so the horses will look a certain way when hitched to the beer wagon. Tailbone amputation for cosmetic reasons is condemned by the American Veterinary Medical Association and is illegal in 10 states. It causes immense pain, affects horses’ balance, and removes their first line of defense against biting and disease-spreading insects.

“Budweiser is the King of Tears for its shameful abuse of Clydesdale horses,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA believes everyone who cares about horses and abhors cruelty to animals should join us in demanding that Anheuser-Busch stop disfiguring the Clydesdales.”

PETA’s video reveals Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch representatives at their breeding and training facilities and at parades telling members of the public that the amputations are just a hair trim—but two admit to PETA’s investigators that the tailbones are severed.

PETA’s mobile billboard will circle the following events and locations:

  • Downtown Phoenix (1 E. Washington St. #230), Friday, 12 noon–3:45 p.m.
  • Budweiser Clydesdales parade (585 E. Buchanan St., Phoenix), Friday, 4–8 p.m.
  • Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest (Footprint Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., near Third Street, Phoenix), Saturday, 12 noon–8 p.m.
  • Westgate Entertainment District (6770 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale), Sunday, 8 a.m. until the parade ends
  • State Farm Stadium (Glendale), Sunday, following the Clydesdales parade until 4:30 p.m.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information about PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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