The owner of two horses that were recently sold for slaughter without her permission is calling for changes to the laws governing equine slaughter for human consumption in Canada.

Kathy O’Reilly says her horses were sent to the slaughterhouse by a man who had no right to sell her animals and one of her horses was being treated with a potentially carcinogenic drug.

O’Reilly had boarded her horses Cocoa and Bella on a farm near Stirling, Alberta for more than four years until the death of the owner of the property triggered a series of events that eventually resulted in the untimely deaths of the two horses.

Following the farm owner’s passing in April, O’Reilly was informed that she would need to relocate her horses as the bank was foreclosing on the property. O’Reilly sent her daughter to retrieve the animals on April 28 but she discovered the animals had been sold to a horse slaughtering plant near Fort MacLeod.

RCMP have charged Wayne Jubb, the property owner’s ex-husband, with theft of cattle, trafficking stolen property and uttering forged documents.

“I’m hoping that safeguards are put into place so this type of thing doesn’t happen again,” said the heartbroken O’Reilly.

According to the accused in an interview with CTV, he had no intention of stealing the animals and he sold the horses to the slaughtering plant following a phone conversation between his son and O’Reilly.

“He said to move the horses right away and then she says she couldn’t do it,” said Wayne Jubb of the phone conversation. “Then she says ‘Just sell them’. I was right there and she was on speaker (phone).”

Jubb says the executor of the estate also agreed with selling the horses but no direction was given on how or where to sell the animals. The accused sold the horses to Bouvry Experts for $800.

Jubb says his actions prove that he did not steal the horses. “For one thing, I'm not going to steal something and put my name on it. I put my name, address and all that stuff (on the paperwork).”

“I had no intention of stealing just get them off the property, give the money to the person that owns them, that was it.”

The accused admits that he didn’t closely read the livestock manifest or equine information document before signing the papers that stated he was lawful owner of the animals.

O’Reilly says she never instructed Jubb’s son to sell the horses and she had already secured a new boarding facility for Cocoa and Bella.

She says her case is an unfortunate example of how easy it is to sell a horse for human consumption. “There needs to be some sort of proof of ownership and there needs to be like health records of these horses.”

O’Reilly says the animals were slaughtered for human consumption and her Gelding had been treated with phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug commonly known as bute, that is listed as a potentially carcinogenic drug.

The horse owner has created a petition calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and the Canada Food Inspection Agency to improve the laws that govern the sale and slaughter of horses for human consumption. The petition is available at JUSTICE for Cocoa and Bella.

With files from CTV's Terry Vogt