Geronimo never had TB: Tests show slaughtered alpaca was wrongly slain

Geronimo DIDN’T have TB: Tests show slaughtered alpaca that captured the nation’s hearts was wrongly put down by the Governmentand now his owner is considering SUING over the case

  • Geronimo was put down by Government vets in August over claims he had TB
  • But post-mortem carried out on the animal have found no trace of the disease
  • Geronimo’s owner Helen Macdonald, 50, was adamant that he was not infected
  • It is understood she is now considering suing ministers over his slaughter
  • The alpaca whose fate divided the nation amid a four-year legal battle did not have tuberculosis, it can be revealed.

    Geronimo was put down by Government vets in August over disputed claims he had the disease.

    But post-mortem examinations carried out on the animal have found no trace of bovine tuberculosis.

    Geronimo’s owner Helen Macdonald, 50, was adamant that he was not infected and launched a campaign to save him.

    But after she lost her lengthy legal fight, officials escorted by police dragged him from her farm near Wickwar, グロスターシャー, to be killed.

    It is understood that Miss Macdonald, a registered veterinary nurse, is now considering suing ministers over his slaughter.

    Early tests carried out in September were inconclusive on whether the animal had bovine tuberculosis.

    Geronimo’s owner Helen Macdonald (写真), 50, was adamant that he was not infected and launched a campaign to save him. But after she lost her lengthy legal fight, officials escorted by police dragged him from her farm near Wickwar, グロスターシャー, to be killed

    Geronimo’s owner Helen Macdonald (写真), 50, was adamant that he was not infected and launched a campaign to save him. But after she lost her lengthy legal fight, officials escorted by police dragged him from her farm near Wickwar, グロスターシャー, to be killed

    No lesions were found on Geronimo’s lungs or respiratory tract – the most common place they are exhibited in an animal with the disease.

    しかしながら, 環境省, 食糧と農村の問題 (Defra) said its vets had discovered a ‘number of TB-like lesions’ in the liver and lymph nodes.

    Further tests have been carried out since to try to establish whether the animal in fact had the disease, including the developing of bacteriological cultures from tissue samples. 結果, which have been finalised in the past week, showed no traces of the disease.

    Miss Macdonald has previously called on Environment Secretary George Eustice to resign, accusing him of ‘murdering an innocent animal’.

    Geronimo’s killing was the culmination of a David and Goliath legal fight between her and Defra that gripped the nation.








    The eight-year-old champion alpaca, who was born in New Zealand before being brought to Britain, was consigned for slaughter after he twice tested positive for bTB in 2017.

    Miss Macdonald has always disputed the results – but the legal battle concluded with a High Court ruling in July that he should be destroyed.

    8月に, Defra officials and dozens of police officers forced their way on to Miss Macdonald’s farm to take Geronimo away.

    She said Avon and Somerset Police had questions to answer for ‘facilitating murder’ and accused Defra of ‘bully boy tactics’ that are ‘frankly unforgivable’.

    Miss Macdonald has a herd of alpacas that she uses to make luxury products including scarves and pashminas at her farm. She started breeding the animals 19 数年前. Geronimo, a pedigree alpaca worth £15,000, had won competitions in New Zealand for his jet black wool.

    Leading vets had demanded the Environment Secretary ‘commute Geronimo’s death sentence’ so he could be studied instead of slaughtered.

    Early tests carried out in September were inconclusive on whether the animal (pictured being dragged away in August) had bovine tuberculosis

    Early tests carried out in September were inconclusive on whether the animal (pictured being dragged away in August) had bovine tuberculosis








    Thirteen experts urged Mr Eustice to call off the killing, allowing the alpaca to be ‘reserved for observation and treatment, whereby his immune responses may be non-invasively studied by a range of tests’.

    They believed that would contribute to scientific understanding of bovine TB as well as the issue of testing accuracy in the animals. Following Geronimo’s death, Boris Johnson’s father Stanley offered Miss Macdonald his condolences.

    ‘Nobody could have fought harder than you did,' 彼は言った. ‘May he rest in peace.’

    Defra previously said it had sympathy for Miss Macdonald but bovine TB had to be tackled. It said the animal’s removal was undertaken by trained and experienced Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) veterinarians in accordance with welfare guidelines.

    その時に話す, chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: ‘No one wants to have to cull infected animals if it can be avoided, but we need to follow the scientific evidence and cull animals that have tested positive for bTB to minimise spread of this insidious disease and eradicate the biggest threat to animal health in this country.

    ‘Not only is this essential to protect the livelihoods of our farming industry and rural communities, but it is also necessary to avoid more TB cases in humans.’

    Both Miss Macdonald and Defra declined to comment last night.