Minister refuses last-ditch pleas to save beloved alpaca's life

Minister refuses last-ditch pleas to save beloved alpaca's life
Minister refuses last-ditch pleas to save beloved alpaca's life
Shoot ME not my Geronimo! Owner of condemned alpaca vows to stand in the way of any government gunman sent to execute the pet over bovine TB fears as minister rules out reprieve Geronimo the eight year old alpaca has been condemned to death for 'bovine TB' Alpaca breeder now fears Government officials 'breaking in and shooting him'  Helen Macdonald vowed to prevent his execution, saying: 'I will die first'

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The eight-year-old animal was condemned to death after he twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis following his arrival from New Zealand in 2017

The eight-year-old animal was condemned to death after he twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis following his arrival from New Zealand in 2017

The owner of a condemned alpaca last night vowed to stand in the way of any government gunman sent to execute the pet after he tested positive for bovine tuberculosis.

Helen Macdonald revealed she'd be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in defence of her beloved stud animal, Geronimo.

The heartbroken vet, 50, has been told she must kill Geronimo herself or else an extermination team will be scrambled to carry out the deed as early as this weekend.

It comes after a High Court judge ruled the animal was suffering from the disease and had to be destroyed, despite Miss Macdonald's pleas that the positive tests were faulty. 

She told The Sun: 'I can't stand by and let my animal be killed and I'm willing to stand in the way of any gunman who comes to destroy Geronimo.

'They've picked on the wrong woman. There is no way that I will put him to sleep.' 

A court order that came into effect yesterday gives officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 30 days to visit owner Miss Macdonald's farm to put Geronimo down. 

Environment Secretary George Eustice made his first comments on the case last night following pressure to allow Geronimo to be retested. But he refused to change his position, effectively consigning the alpaca to slaughter.

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He said: 'My own family have a pedigree herd of South Devon cattle and we have lost cows to TB so I know how distressing it can be and have huge sympathy for farmers who suffer loss. I have looked at this case several times over the last three years and gone through all of the evidence with the Chief Vet and other experts in detail. Sadly, Geronimo has tested positive twice using a highly specific and reliable test.'

Alpaca breeder Miss Macdonald, 50, said she fears Government officials 'breaking in and shooting him' and vowed to prevent his execution, saying: 'I will die first'

Alpaca breeder Miss Macdonald, 50, said she fears Government officials 'breaking in and shooting him' and vowed to prevent his execution, saying: 'I will die first'

Miss Macdonald, from Wickwar, Gloucestershire, who bought Geronimo for £15,000 to be a stud animal, said serious questions had been raised over Defra's handling of the case.

Why animal faces the death penalty

How many tests has Geronimo had?

Seven. Geronimo had four skin tests before he was exported from New Zealand. They

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