For Immediate Release:
March 21, 2023
David Perle 202-483-7382
Bossier City, La. – The Budweiser Clydesdales, whose tails have been cruelly amputated, are scheduled to appear at Louisiana Downs on Friday, so today PETA dispatched a letter to the racetrack’s president, Kevin Preston, urging him 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.
“Allowing the Budweiser Clydesdales to make an appearance unfortunately and inadvertently means turning a blind eye to the beer company’s inhumane practice,” writes PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “We hope you will speak to Anheuser-Busch executives and urge them to end tailbone severing and, in the meantime, cancel the upcoming 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 Preston follows.
March 21, 2023
Dear Mr. Preston:
I’m writing to you 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 appearing at Louisiana Downs on March 24, 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 American values, but mutilating 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 track. Allowing the Budweiser Clydesdales to make an appearance would mean turning a blind eye to the company’s inhumane practice and inadvertently condoning it. 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.
May I please hear from you?
Senior Vice President
Equine Matters Department