Alpaca Geronimo could become bovine tuberculosis test case

BBC News 
By: BBC News
Photo: By Helen McDonald

Photo Caption:  Helen MacDonald imported six-year-old Geronimo from New Zealand

Original content from BBC News.

The fate of an alpaca on a Gloucestershire farm could become a test case for the control of turberculosis in the breed.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) ordered Geronimo be put down after he tested positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

But his owner believes six-year-old Geronimo is healthy and the results are inaccurate.

Her fight to keep the animal alive has so far taken a year.

Helen MacDonald, who farms a herd of 75 alpacas in the village of Wickwar, says Geronimo - who was imported from New Zealand - is worth £30,000 to her business.

The alpaca - bought for his breeding credentials - has been isolated from the rest of Mrs MacDonald's herd for 14 months.

The government is expected to apply for a court order this week to have him destroyed.

Now, with the backing of the British Alpaca Society, she has threatened to take Defra to court if it does not re-test him.

Read the rest of this story at BBC News.