An $8,000 reward is on offer in Florida for information leading to the people responsible for the slaughter of at least 17 horses.

Since January at least 17 horses have been found butchered in the Miami-Dade area, the last being found at the end of July.

And now Miami Dade County Crime Stoppers is offering a $3,000 reward to catch the culprits — while the Humane Society of the United States have pledged a separate $5,000 reward.

“The majority [of the reward money] has come from small donors who are either horse owners or horse lovers who are outraged by the killings,” Dick Masten, executive director of Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers told local press.

The bodies of the horses have been left butchered and dumped at the sides of roads or in their stalls and fields.

But because the attacks have been in remote, rural areas there have so far been no witnesses.

Police believe the horses may have been killed for meat, which has been sold on the black market as the sale of horse meat in the US is illegal.

“These horses were beloved companions found barbarically killed for their meat. The horses must have suffered horribly, and now their owners grieve their needless deaths, ” said a spokesman for The Humane Society of the United States.