Alpaca Geronimo is defeated, ending a well-known court battle with British authorities


Despite a positive test for tuberculosis in cattle, the British alpaca, famous for its stubborn and prominent attempts to prevent its owners from being killed, has finally been defeated.

It ends his owner’s four-year court battle with authorities over the validity of the test.

On August 31, rural areas announced that alpaca Geronimo had been killed by a veterinarian by court order after being taken from his home on a farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire.

A positive test for tuberculosis in cattle automatically triggers the death penalty for animals as part of a policy to stop the spread of the disease. Last year alone, about 27,000 people were slaughtered after being diagnosed with the disease.

However, Jeronimo’s owner, veterinary nurse Helen McDonald, claimed that the test had a fundamental flaw and was picking up the tuberculosis protein derivative she gave him.

He tested positive twice in 2017 after being brought from New Zealand to the United Kingdom.

Epoch Times Photo
Police officers arrived with police escorts to identify alpaca Jeronimo at the Shepherd’s Close Farm in Wooton Underedge, Gloucestershire, before the animals were taken away by the trailer on August 31, 2021. To sort. (PA)

Several veterinarians upheld her claim, but after a four-year court challenge, when a judge dismissed a request for a temporary injunction to suspend the killing order and resume the case. , This summer McDonald’s legal path seemed exhausted.

It triggered an enthusiastic promotional campaign during the summer, during which McDonald’s won over 140,000 signatures. Online petition And it attracted a lot of media attention.

Supporters were camping on McDonald’s farms hoping to eventually block officials who were accompanied by police officers.

Jeronimo was loaded into a waiting trailer almost without incident, except that a woman sprayed a water gun on a police officer.

In a statement, Veterinary Chief Christine Middlemiss said it was a “terrible sad situation.”

“If you can avoid it, you don’t have to weed out infected animals,” she said. “But scientific evidence and slaughtered animals tested positive for bTB to minimize the spread of this insidious disease and ultimately eradicate the greatest threat to animal health in the country. Must be followed.

“Not only is this essential to protect the livelihoods of our agriculture and rural communities, but it is also necessary to avoid an increase in human tuberculosis cases.”

Postmortem examinations will be performed by a veterinary pathologist at the Department of Animal and Plant Hygiene.

McDonald’s told the BBC that the government refused to act in good faith and described the killing as “barbaric.”

“We now know that they tied us up last week and are fooling us by saying that people are on vacation and will come back to us this week,” she said. Said.

PA contributed to this report.

Simon Veazey

Simon Veazey

Freelance reporter

Simon Veazey is a UK-based journalist who has been reporting on the Epoch Times since 2006 on a variety of beats, from detailed coverage of British and European politics to web-based writing of the latest news.

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