Geronimo the alpaca, branded by British government officials as a health risk, was dragged from his enclosure and euthanized on Tuesday an action that sparked fury in animal rights groups and his owner – who had fought the decision for years.
Now, the owner of Geronimo has called on the Environment Secretary to resign, accusing him of “murdering an innocent animal” days before a warrant for the animal’s destruction was due to expire.
Geronimo had tested positive for bovine tuberculosis twice, a disease that is highly dangerous disease that can be passed from animals to humans. However, his owner insisted that the tests performed on the alpaca were false positives and had been campaigning to stop him from being euthanized.
Ms. Macdonald (Geronimo’s owner) had called on Defra to allow Geronimo to be tested a third time or to let him live to aid in research into the disease. She argued that the Enferplex test is fundamentally flawed and says he tested positive because he had repeatedly been primed with tuberculin – a purified proteïen derivative of bovine TB bacteria. Earlier this month, a High Court Judge refused her application for a temporary injunction to stop the destruction order and reopen the case.
She had applied in writing for an independent witness to be present when a post-mortem examination was carried out on Geronimo but was refused with Covid-19 and site security being stated as the reason for the refusal. She was also told that: “The examination proceeded in accordance with standard operating procedures for suspected TB clinical cases and TB test-positive animals, which do not allow for the obtaining of samples for private testing”.
In response Ms Macdonald tweeted: “Citing Covid and security reasons are appallingly weak excuses to block an independent observer to the post-mortem of Geronimo. This is an immensely arrogant and blatant continuation of their mission to conceal their processes and act without transparency and fairness”.
She also called on Environment Secretary, George Eustice to resign, saying “I am calling for George Eustice’s resignation. The Secretary of State has acted in bad faith, refusing to engage with us to discuss a research solution that would further the Government’s very own objectives. Instead he has resorted to bullying and cowardly tactics, hiding behind Government lawyers and refusing to listen to us. He has murdered an innocent animal rather than doing something productive and good for this country and small farmers like me. He is unfit to hold office.”
Badgers have also been victims in the fight against bovine TB with mass culling employed to stop the spread since 2013, which sparked huge public backlash.
Sources: MSN, Irish Examiner
Follow FiND iT on Facebook here.