An estimated 30 horses perished in a truck fire on I-81 in Lisle, about 55 miles south of Syracuse, New York, on Monday night.
According to police the truck was driven by Clarence Phelps of Watertown. The owner of the horses was understood to be a kill buyer.
Local reports indicated the truck caught fire and the driver stopped, but neither he nor emergency services were able to extinguish the flames.
The horses were reportedly destined for the Viande Richelieu Meat slaughterhouse in Massueville, Quebec.
Local reports misidentified the destination as a “rendering plant”, an operation that recycles dead animals and animal products into protein based compounds.
More than 59,000 US horses were slaughtered in Canada in 2012, according to the US Department of Agriculture.