Anheuser-Busch Ends Tail Amputation of Budweiser Clydesdale Horses After PETA Campaign
Anheuser-Busch, the brewer behind Budweiser and Bud Light, has announced that it will no longer amputate the tails of its iconic Budweiser Clydesdale horses. This decision comes after pressure from animal rights group PETA.
“The safety and well-being of our beloved Clydesdales is our top priority. The practice of equine tail docking was discontinued earlier this year,”
Docking, which involves cutting off the end of a horse’s tailbone, has been banned in some states and countries. It is traditionally done to prevent the tail from interfering with harness and carriage equipment.
The Clydesdale, a majestic breed originating from Scotland, has long been featured in Budweiser’s advertising, including memorable appearances during Super Bowl commercials. PETA launched its campaign against tail docking just before the NFL championship game last February.
PETA declared victory in its pressure campaign against Anheuser-Busch, citing video footage showing Budweiser Clydesdales attempting to use their shortened tails to fend off biting insects. Critics argue that docking prevents horses from effectively protecting themselves against insects like mosquitoes, which can transmit diseases.
According to David L. Hu, an associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, mosquitoes alone can cause a horse to lose a cup of blood in a single day. These insects not only take blood but also spread diseases such as malaria, Zika virus, and dengue fever. Protecting horses from mosquitoes can have a significant impact on their health.
Kate Hepworth-Warren, an assistant professor of veterinary medicine, explained that docking can be done surgically or by using ligature. However, the practice is illegal in 11 states and several European countries.
While some argue that docking improves tail cleanliness and makes harnessing easier, others believe it serves primarily as a cosmetic purpose for certain breeds.
It has been a challenging year for Anheuser-Busch, particularly its subsidiary Bud Light. The brand faced significant backlash after sponsoring a social media video featuring a transgender activist, resulting in consecutive months of declining beer sales.
In response to a March Madness promotion where a transgender influencer posted a personalized Bud Light can, conservative musicians and celebrities called for a boycott of the brand. Musician Kid Rock even posted a video of himself shooting cans of Bud Light, while prominent country singers refused to sell the beer during their tours.
Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. division reported a year-over-year loss of $395 million amid the boycott. Sales of Bud Light dropped approximately 27 percent compared to the previous year.
Experts and former executives have warned that Bud Light may face a decline in retailer shelf space due to the ongoing boycott. Shelf space is a crucial factor in driving sales, as consumers tend to choose alternatives if their preferred beer is unavailable.
Despite these challenges, Anheuser-Busch remains focused on its long-term success. The company recently announced layoffs at its corporate offices and emphasized its commitment to brewing great beer for everyone.
- Bud Light Might Soon Lose Retail Shelf Space Amid Boycott: Experts - 9/15/2023
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Reuters contributed to this report.
How does the decision by Anheuser-Busch to end tail amputation set an example for other industries associated with horses?
Verely compromises the welfare of the horses. The removal of a horse’s tail can cause pain, discomfort, and difficulty in balancing. Additionally, the tail serves as a communication tool for horses, allowing them to express their emotions and warn others of potential danger.
Anheuser-Busch’s decision to end tail amputation demonstrates a shift towards more humane practices in the treatment of animals. As one of the largest beer producers in the world, the company’s decision may set an example for other brewing companies and industries associated with horses.
This move also highlights the growing influence and power of animal rights organizations like PETA in advocating for the well-being of animals. Through its campaign against tail docking, PETA successfully shed light on the drawbacks and cruelty associated with this practice. They utilized video evidence and public pressure to sway Anheuser-Busch into reevaluating its stance. This victory is a testament to the effectiveness of peaceful activism and the importance of public awareness in promoting change.
Animal rights activists and organizations have long been fighting against inhumane practices in industries involving animals. They aim to raise awareness about the mistreatment of animals and push for more ethical alternatives. Anheuser-Busch’s decision is a step in the right direction, showing that companies can prioritize animal welfare without sacrificing their business success.
While the end of tail docking is a cause for celebration, it is important to continue monitoring and addressing other animal welfare concerns in the equestrian industry. Practices such as excessive whipping, confinement, and overbreeding still pose significant challenges that need to be addressed. By working together, animal rights groups, industry stakeholders, and consumers can create a future where animals are treated with kindness and respect.
In conclusion, Anheuser-Busch’s decision to end tail amputation of its Budweiser Clydesdale horses marks a victory for animal rights and highlights the power of peaceful activism. The company’s commitment to the well-being of its iconic horses sends a positive message to other industries. However, it is crucial to remain vigilant in raising awareness about other animal welfare issues and continue pushing for more ethical practices in the treatment of animals.
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