PETA Challenges NFL: Dropkick Budweiser’s Horse Abuse


For Immediate Release:
August 18, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

New York – Bud Light just became the “official beer sponsor” of multiple NFL teams and players, so today, PETA sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging him to throw a flag on Budweiser and make it a requirement of the business deal that the beer maker stop amputating the tailbones of its iconic Clydesdales.

Disfigured Clydesdales hitched to a Budweiser beer wagon. Photo: PETA.

PETA’s recent video exposé reveals that Budweiser manufacturer Anheuser-Busch has been severing the horses’ tailbones with a scalpel or a tight band that stops the blood supply to the tail, causing most of the bone to die and fall off—just so the Clydesdales will look a certain way when hitched to a beer wagon. Horses need their tails for balance and to protect themselves from biting and disease-spreading insects. This practice is illegal in many European countries, including Belgium, where AB InBev is based, as well as in 10 U.S. states.

“The NFL shouldn’t associate itself with cruelty to animals,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “So we’re asking Mr. Goodell to tell Budweiser that he wants the mutilation of Clydesdales to stop now so everyone can raise a glass.”

Both the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners condemn tailbone amputation for cosmetic reasons.

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

PETA’s letter to Goodell follows.

August 18, 2023

Roger Goodell

Dear Mr. Goodell:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) because Anheuser-Busch has just announced that Bud Light will be the “official beer sponsor” of 27 NFL teams and 24 players across the league. Will you use your authority to compel the company to stop disfiguring horses?

PETA has documented that Anheuser-Busch is amputating the tailbones of the famous Budweiser Clydesdales. These amputations—which sever a part of the spinal cord—are done just for cosmetic reasons and serve no medical purpose. This unnecessary and permanent mutilation causes immense pain, affects horses’ balance, and leaves them without natural protection from flies and other biting insects. Horses also depend on their tails to communicate with herdmates and humans.

Both the American Association of Equine Practitioners and the American Veterinary Medical Association condemn severing horses’ tailbones 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.

Will you please make it a requirement of your contract with Anheuser-Busch that the tail amputations must end?

Thank you very much for your consideration. I’m available to answer questions, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Kathy Guillermo
Senior Vice President
Equine Matters Department

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