Home News Last-ditch High Court bid to save Geronimo the alpaca fails

Last-ditch High Court bid to save Geronimo the alpaca fails


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

His 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.

Read more:Geronimo the alpaca’s temporary reprieve amid claims Defra ‘hopes he will die’

Earlier this month, she lost her final appeal to save her beloved pet at the High Court in London and a warrant was signed for his destruction.

She brought a further bid to halt his destruction while it was investigated whether Defra had not disclosed evidence relating to the testing regime used to test Geronimo and other camelids.

Geronimo the alpaca with owner Helen Macdonald
Geronimo the alpaca with owner Helen Macdonald

Ms MacDonald, 50, from Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, wrote to Environment Secretary George Eustice to suggest under the Animal Health Act he has the power to commute the destruction order and the animal is instead studied for research.

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 for Geronimo and his owner.

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.

The judicial review was sought on the basis of “non disclosure” of information by Defra to Helen’s legal team around previous ‘healthy’ animals that had been put down but later showed no trace of bovine TB.

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