The male alpaca Geronimo, who has been given a death sentence by the British government, has been taken away from his home on Tuesday. “Please don’t execute Geronimo,” his owner, Helen Macdonald, pleaded on social media.
Officers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), escorted by police, put a rope around the small animal and dragged him to their car.
According to Defra, Geronimo has bovine tuberculosis and needs to be killed, but Macdonald argued that Geronimo is healthy, and the tests gave false-positive results. She asked for a different way of testing, specific for alpacas.
More than 140,000 people support MacDonald and signed the petition ‘Save Geronimo – Stop killing healthy alpacas without valid science’.
DEFRA have arrived! We are asking once again for an urgent meeting with George Eustice. Please don’t execute Geronimo.— helen macdonald (@alpacapower) August 31, 2021
Geronimo was born in New Zealand and has been in England since 2016.
MacDonald, a veterinary nurse who runs an alpaca farm in Gloucestershire in western England, says that the positive test results were incorrect because the tuberculin injections given to Geronimo since he arrived in England can produce false-positive results for bovine tuberculosis.
She wants Geronimo to be re-tested using a different diagnostic tool. So far, the alpaca has gotten two blood tests which MacDonald says are unreliable.
MacDonald also claims that no trials had been done on alpacas to test the accuracy of the bovine tuberculosis tests carried out by Defra.
Macdonald took the government to court in her last attempt to save Geronimo from death, but a High Court judge in London refused to grant a temporary injunction that would have stopped the order to kill the animal.
My thoughts are with Helen Macdonald one of the most bravest & courageous people I know that fought a David & Goliath battle with Defra to save the life of her precious Geronimo #geronimo pic.twitter.com/SggsZ1LiTM— dominic dyer (@domdyer70) August 31, 2021
The Animal Reader is an animal news organisation and posts daily articles about animals. We need your help to continue reporting on animal welfare and animal rights. If you can, please consider supporting our work.