Geronimo the alpaca to be slaughtered after High Court bid fails

18 August 2021, 17:07 | Updated: 18 August 2021, 17:37

Geronimo the alpaca is to be slaughtered
Geronimo the alpaca is to be slaughtered. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Geronimo the alpaca will be slaughtered after his owner lost a last-ditch High Court bid to save him.

The animal has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, making him a risk to other animals.

As a result, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has ordered his destruction.

READ MORE: Alpacas to join march on Downing Street in bid to save Geronimo

READ MORE: Geronimo the alpaca 'safe for now' ahead of high court review

Owner Helen Macdonald, who imported him from New Zealand, believes the tests are returning false positives, but has been refused permission to have him tested a third time.

She previously told LBC's Nick Ferrari: "Geronimo has not failed a validated test."

She added: "If they gave him the test he was supposed to have had, we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Earlier this month, Ms McDonald lost her final appeal to save her beloved pet at the High Court in London and a warrant was signed for Geronimo's destruction.

She made a further bid to halt his destruction while Defra was investigated over claims it had not disclosed evidence relating to the testing regime used to test him and other camelids.

Geronimo has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis
Geronimo has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Picture: Alamy

But, in a ruling on Wednesday, Mrs Justice Stacey refused to grant injunctions to spare the alpaca and for further disclosure - signalling the end of the road.

Lawyers for Defra said there was no plan to slaughter Geronimo today and that Ms Macdonald will be given the opportunity to make her own arrangements for his destruction.

Thousands have come out in support of Geronimo in recent weeks, with more than 130,000 people signing a petition calling on Boris Johnson to halt the killing.

Animal rights protesters marched on Downing Street earlier this month
Animal rights protesters marched on Downing Street earlier this month. Picture: Alamy

Animal rights protesters were joined by alpacas during a march on Downing Street in an attempt to save the mammal.

As well as alpacas, badgers have been a victim of the fight against bovine TB, with mass culling employed to stop the spread since 2013, sparking a huge public backlash.