Keir Starmer backs death sentence for doomed alpaca Geronimo

Keir Starmer backs death sentence for doomed alpaca Geronimo over bovine tuberculosis fears because there is ‘no alternative

  • Sir Keir Starmer has backed the death sentence for doomed alpaca Geronimo
  • Labour leader said that was ‘no alternative’ but to kill the eight-year-old animal
  • He said although the death of an animal is sad, TB must be kept under control

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has backed the death sentence for doomed alpaca Geronimo.

Sir Keir said there was ‘no alternative’ but to kill the eight-year-old male over bovine tuberculosis fears despite pleas from campaigners.

‘It’s a really sad situation and you can see why emotions are running really high,’ he said.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has backed the death sentence for doomed alpaca Geronimo. Pictured: Geronimo with his owner Helen MacDonald

Geronimo was condemned to death this month following a judicial review in the High Court. He had tested positive twice for bTB after he was given an Enferplex blood test.

His owner Helen MacDonald, 50, from Wickwar, Gloucestershire, has argued Geronimo was repeatedly dosed with primer Tuberculin which prompted false positive results.

Sir Keir said: ‘It’s always tragic when it happens. I don’t think we can make an exception in this case. Of course it’s sad – it’s sad for farmers as well when they lose their animals but we have to keep TB under control.’

The intervention comes amid a furious row between animal rights campaigners and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Defra has insisted its test is accurate and refused to discuss the standoff.

Sir Keir said there was ‘no alternative’ but to kill the eight-year-old male over bovine tuberculosis fears despite pleas from campaigners

Under a High Court warrant it has 30 days to slaughter Geronimo.

Defra has repeated refused to retest Geronimo for bTB arguing its test is accurate despite the Daily Mail’s bombshell evidence of nine other camelids who were slaughtered following false positives for bTB.

Miss MacDonald said: ‘We are just asking to have him tested with something appropriate. I get they have policy to follow but there are other ways, and they don’t have to kill him.’

The Prime Minister’s spokesman said: ‘The fact remains that Geronimo has sadly tested positive twice using a highly specific and reliable and validated test.’

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