Geronimo, the convicted alpaca, was given another 24-hour revocation, with its owner claiming the UK government would carry out “dirty work” and put his beloved animal away.
“They don’t want blood on their hands,” said Helen Macdonald, a veterinary nurse. “They’re trying to get me tired and enable a perfectly healthy animal. I’m not going to do that. It’s that simple.”
Geronimo tested positive twice for bovine tuberculosis and told Macdonald he should be overthrown, but for four years he argued the regime was wrong and asked the Department for the Environment, Food and Foreign Affairs (Defra) to reconsider. the camelid.
The end came for Geronimo on Wednesday, away from his field in south Gloucestershire, a high court judge in London. rejected a last minute attempt to save him.
Ned Westaway, representing the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha), a Defra executive agency, told the court it would give Macdonald a chance to make your own repairs for the destruction of Geronimo. Macdonald’s legal team said Defra had the right to execute the warrant to overthrow Geronimo anytime after 4.30 the next day.
Macdonald said he would not break the law to stop anyone who comes for the animal doing what they are supposed to do. But he also said he would not help them, and a live CCTV camera that sits on top of his pen would broadcast to the world what was happening.
On Thursday a tough band of supporters put a “human shield” around Geronimo. But 4.30pm came and went and Macdonald received news that government officials would not try to enforce the order before 5pm on Friday.
There was an outpouring of support from the public, with more than 130,000 people signing a petition calling on Boris Johnson to stop the killing.
Macdonald said there is still another way. “They can order him to stay here for research and we’ll all learn something. He doesn’t have to die. Defra has a choice. They can work with us or they can try and kill him in front of the world.”
The government said all evidence on the animal’s condition had been “looked at carefully”. A Defra spokesman said: “We sympathize with Macdonald’s situation, as do we with each other with animals affected by this dreadful disease. For this reason the test results and options for Geronimo are carefully considered by Defra, the Animal and Plant Health Agency and by veterinary experts, as well as passing several stages of thorough legal examination.
“Bovine tuberculosis is one of the greatest animal health threats we face today and causes devastation and distress for farming families and rural communities across the country as it costs the taxpayer £ 100m per year. , while no one wants to rebel animals, we must do everything to solve this disease to stop its spread and protect the livelihood of those affected. “
Macdonald said: “Every day is a new day. There have been masses of emails and everything has become a doll again. I’ve had it hanging in my head for a long time and it’s not over yet and we’ll move on.”