Geronimo is dead: a TB-infected alpaca was put to death, causing sadness among campaigners.
GERONIMO It was announced that the alpaca had been killed, mere hours after police arrived at the farm.
At before 10.30 a.m. today, police descended on Geromimo’s property in South Gloucestershire. Officials arrived in a horse-box-style animal carrier, and photographs show them fastening rope around the alpaca.
“We can confirm officers are in attendance at a farm in the Wickwar area of South Gloucestershire this morning to support the Animal and Plant Health Agency, who are executing a court warrant,” an Avon and Somerset Police spokeswoman said.
“We will always assist our partner agencies in carrying out their legal responsibilities, and our responsibility is to prevent a breach of the peace and maintain public safety.”
After testing positive for tuberculosis four years ago, Geronimo has been on execution row for months.
The eight-year-old alpaca had tested negative for tuberculosis in New Zealand, but when she arrived in England, she tested positive twice.
Helen Macdonald, the owner, claims the testing is incorrect because Geronimo is in good health. Geronimo had been primed with TB injections before being tested, therefore she believes the results are false positives.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) clarifies that injecting tuberculosis does not cause a false positive, but rather amplifies antibodies already caused by an infection.
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Ms. Macdonald, who operates an alpaca farm with 80 animals, wants Geronimo to be retested or for authorities to allow him live to help with illness research.
Geronimo’s death might happen any day now after Defra was granted a warrant to euthanize the alpaca within 30 days of August 5.
“We sympathize with Ms Macdonald’s predicament, as we do with everyone who has animals affected by this horrible disease,” a Defra spokesperson said.
“While no one likes to kill animals, we must do everything possible to combat this disease and safeguard the livelihoods of those who are affected.”