Doomed alpaca Geronimo’s wait to meet his maker stretches into fourth day as dozens of supporters vow to form ‘human shield’ to protect him from ‘boltgun-wielding’ vet who could arrive TODAY
- Eight-year-old alpaca stud Geronimo was condemned to death after TB tests
- The animal’s owner Helen Macdonald, 50, claims the skin tests were flawed
- She faces her fourth day of anxiously awaiting a team to put down the animal
- Volunteers are now planning to form a human shield around Geronimo’s pen
The owner of doomed alpaca Geronimo is starting day four of nervously awaiting the arrival of police and a vet to put down her beloved pet – as dozens of supporters vow to form a ‘human shield’ around the animal to stop it being killed today.
The eight-year-old alpaca stud, from New Zealand but now living in south Gloucestershire, was condemned to death after twice testing positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB).
A warrant was last week issued to destroy the animal following a £50,000 High Court battle, but owner Helen Macdonald, 50, claims the skin tests were flawed because Geronimo had been given the vaccine tuberculin which produced a false positive.
The alpaca was given a 48-hour reprieve over the weekend amid fears police will force their way into Ms Macdonald’s farm early on Monday with a vet to put him to sleep.
Volunteers and supporters are now planning to form a human shield around Geronimo’s pen to save him – and protesters will today march on Downing Street alongside alpacas to try and save Geronimo from his grisly sentence.
Speaking from her farm in Wickar, south Gloucestershire, Ms Macdonald said: ‘The police will come in early in the morning because they will try to catch us off guard, so we’ll get people here as early as possible.
The eight-year-old alpaca stud, from New Zealand but now living in south Gloucestershire, was condemned to death after twice testing positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB)
A warrant was last week issued to destroy the animal following a £50,000 High Court battle, but owner Helen Macdonald, 50, claims the skin tests were flawed because Geronimo had been given the vaccine tuberculin which produced a false positive
‘They could get up at dawn, so we want a human shied for Geronimo and we have people offering to help with that.
‘We’re very grateful, some people have said they’ll come from further away but we’ll use local people to start with.
‘We’ll have a human shield situation, it’s just for our peace of mind.
‘We will not break the law but we will stand up for what is right and what the Government want to do to a healthy animal is not right.
‘We are under siege and aren’t getting any sleep.
‘It’s awful, we’re just so exhausted,
‘We don’t have time to do normal things we just manage to get the animals fed and put the washing on but were not getting any kind of respite.
‘We’re worried about being here on our own, they can turn up at any time.
‘When there’s lots of people around we feel safer – it’s a very strange situation where you have a Government treating you like a criminal and you haven’t done anything wrong.
‘My mum is 84 years old on Monday and she asked me last night if she was going to effectively have the firing squad here on her birthday.’
Geronimo the alpaca at Shepherds Close Farm, Wickwar, Gloucestershire
Veterinary nurse Helen has previously vowed to ‘kill him myself’ if she was sure Geronimo was infected with bovine TB.
She added: ‘If he was given a valid test which proved he actually had the disease then I would kill him myself.
‘Geronimo has never tested positive for bTB. He had anti-bodies after taking the vaccine tuberculin which is exactly what you would expect to happen.
‘The science was dodgy. The Government do not want to admit that they have to investigate why alpaca’s react differently to tuberculin.’
Despite begging The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to re-test Geronimo, the Government have point-blank refused.
Environment Secretary George Eustice refused to overturn the decision to destroy
Geronimo, saying: ‘Every livestock farmer has to get used to their share of tragedy and loss.’
Helen and her family lost a final attempt on Thursday (5/8) to save Geronimo from being destroyed.
The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) now has 27 days to carry out the court order.
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