(Reuters) - Brewer Anheuser-Busch said on Wednesday it has stopped cutting off the tails of Clydesdale horses used in publicity for its Budweiser brand of beer after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched a campaign against the practice.
"The safety and well-being of our beloved Clydesdales is our top priority. The practice of equine tail docking was discontinued earlier this year," Anheuser-Busch, part of the Anheuser-Busch InBev global brewing giant, said in a statement.
Docking, which is banned in some states and countries, traditionally involves cutting off the end of the tailbone of a horse to prevent the tail from interfering with harness and carriage equipment, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
PETA, which declared victory in its campaign, said the amputation was painful and that video of the Budweiser Clydesdales showed the animals trying in vain to use the remnants of their tails to shoo away biting, disease-spreading insects.
The Clydesdale, a tall breed of horse originating from the River Clyde valley in Scotland, has long been used by Budweiser in its advertising, sometimes making appearances during Super Bowl commercials. PETA launched its campaign against docking just before the big game last February.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)