American Humane awards welfare certification to Budweiser Clydesdales, Dalmatians

Anheuser-Busch announces it has discontinued docking the iconic draft horses' tails

American Humane, the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare practices, announced on Sept. 20 its official certification of Anheuser-Busch‘s iconic Budweiser Clydesdales and their traditional companions, the Dalmatian dogs. The distinction of American Humane Certified™ identifies that Anheuser-Busch has met American Humane’s comprehensive, science-based standards for animal welfare and humane treatment of animals.

Budweiser Clydesdales

The announcement reportedly coincided with an announcement from the beer brand’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch inBev, that it had discontinued docking the Clydesdales’ tails earlier this year. A common but controversial procedure performed to prevent draft horses’ tails from becoming entangled in harness, it had prompted protest from animal activist groups.

“There are few animals as majestic as the Budweiser Clydesdales, and we are thrilled to announce the American Humane Certification,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane president and CEO. “Anheuser-Busch’s medical experts in canine and equine care, along with their professional staff, provide the horses and dogs with a high standard of welfare.”

Assessment and Adjustments

Areas of certification evaluation include—but are not limited to—housing and environment, animal health, appearance and behavior, nutrition, veterinary care and cleanliness/sanitation. In addition to their permanent housing facilities, American Humane assessed the public performances of the Budweiser Clydesdales and Dalmatians, social interactions with the public, safe and stimulating temporary environments, and evidence of thorough preparation and protocols established to handle medical care.

American Humane assisted Anheuser-Busch in identifying and completing improvements to add to the quality of care for the Budweiser Clydesdales and Dalmatians. Examples of recent adjustments include overseeing humidity levels in the facilities, updating documentation of daily processes, and, as mentioned previously, discontinuing the practice of equine tail docking, which is now banned in several countries.

“As a science-based, third-party expert in animal care, American Humane was able to review Anheuser-Busch’s animal operations and provide input on improvements to their already outstanding care,” said Dr. Tom Edling, American Humane chief veterinary officer and animal ethicist.

Science-based criteria for welfare

The American Humane Working Animal™ program helps verify the welfare and demonstrably humane treatment of animals wherever they live and work. The program enforces rigorous, science-based and comprehensive criteria for animal welfare, reviewed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, veterinary medicine and animal behavior. American Humane audits help to verify stringent animal welfare practices and offer increased assurance to the public that the Clydesdales and Dalmatians receive excellent care.

American Humane will continue to conduct ongoing audits and reviews for Anheuser-Busch to maintain its American Humane certification and a shared commitment for high quality care for animals.

About American Humane

American Humane is the United States’ first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, overseeing the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information, visit




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