Geronimo the alpaca did not have tuberculosis before death, report suggests

Geronimo the alpaca was put down even though he was not suffering from tuberculosis (TB), a new report suggests.

The eight-year-old alpaca was euthanised after police officers and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) staff arrived at owner Helen Macdonald’s farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire on August 31.

The animal had twice tested positive for bovine TB twice and Ms Macdonald had to say goodbye after she lost a four-year legal battle to save him.

In September, Defra, said veterinary pathologist had conducted the initial post-mortem examination and “found a number of TB-like lesions”.

But a new pathologist report suggests there was no concrete evidence of the disease.

The report, seen by The Sun, says the TB-like lesions found in September were “atypical” and offered no guarantee of infection.

Ms Macdonald said: “This report shows that Geronimo met a brutal death for nothing,”

“Those monsters murdered my perfectly healthy animal.”

She said Defra need to “be honest and face the facts”, adding: “The way they have acted and the way I have been treated is horrendous, Geronimo’s death was needless, pointless cruelty.”

Geronimo, who was imported from New Zealand in 2017, he had been kept in isolation away from the other 80 other alpacas on Ms Macdonald’s farm after he tested positive for TB.

The alpaca was tied with white rope before being scanned for a microchip then pulled through a field to a waiting trailer.

Less than 90 minutes after leaving the property, Defra confirmed the animal had been euthanised by staff from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha) – executing a court warrant that was due to expire on September 4.

Ms Macdonald was campaigning for the destruction to be halted and she insisted the bovine tuberculosis tests previously carried out had returned false positives.

She had repeatedly called for him to be tested for a third time or allowed to live to aid research into the disease.