Clydesdale Adobe Stock 122516858 650ccb4c02500

Anheuser-Busch Has Stopped Cutting off Clydesdales’ Tails

Sept. 21, 2023
The Budweiser horses will no longer endure ‘tail docking’ for cosmetic reasons, an issue raised every Super Bowl. By the way, there's a link to the cutest Clydesdale Super Bowl commercial in this story.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has quietly stopped cutting the tails of the iconic Clydesdale horses used in its Budweiser marketing, a practice that drew ire from animal rights groups, a number of media are reporting.

The Clydesdale horses are a warm and fuzzy hit with audiences on TV and at hundreds of events across the country. But, especially at Super Bowl time, when they star in heart-tugging commercials, the issue of “tail docking” comes up. It involves cutting through a horse's tailbone, partly for cosmetic reasons and partly to prevent the tail from interfering with harness and carriage equipment.

(A handful of Clydesdale spots rank in the most loved Super Bowl commercials of all time. Try not to tear up at this 2013 one.)

"The practice of equine tail docking was discontinued earlier this year," a spokesperson for the company told the various media. "The safety and well-being of our beloved Clydesdales is our top priority."

Tailbone amputation for cosmetic reasons is illegal in 10 states and multiple countries, according to USA Today. The American Veterinary Medical Association has also condemned it.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other animal rights organizations raised a glass for the decision.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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