(AP) _ Animal rights groups say they've identified what they say is a growing type of animal abuse.
They say the victims are horses, who are being trucked for hundreds of miles to Canada for slaughter, circumventing a U.S. ban on the practice. Much of the meat is eventually exported to countries in Europe and Asia for human consumption.
Stacy Segal is a horse specialist at the Humane Society of the United States. She and other animal rights activists want a ban on exporting U.S. horses for slaughter abroad.
Last year, state-imposed bans closed the last three U.S. horse slaughterhouses, including plans in Fort Worth and Kaufman, Texas.Since then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says a record 78,000horses have been exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.
That's a 138 percent increase from 2006. Statistics show that 76,100 horses have been slaughtered in Canada and Mexico so far this year. But the actual figure is likely higher because Canada hasn't yet reported two months' worth of slaughter numbers.