Geronimo, the alpaca that tested positive twice for bovine tuberculosis and is set to be euthanised, has received a temporary reprieve ahead of a review. This is so an application for a judicial review, including an application for a temporary injunction to halt the enforcement of the destruction order, can be considered at the High Court. A relief to all the Lobby hacks and Sun journalists who’ve spent silly season whipping up an alpaca-themed summer recess storm…
According to the alpaca’s solicitor, the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs “have agreed to extend their undertaking until 17:00 on Tuesday” – although a warrant for Geronimo’s destruction was nonetheless signed earlier this month. Geronimo’s owner, Helen Macdonald, has been refused permission by DEFRA to have him tested a third time, despite insisting that two previous tests returned false positives. Ms Macdonald’s lawyers have written to George Eustice arguing Geronimo’s life could be saved and he could be studied for research.
A Defra spokesman said:
“We are sympathetic to Ms Macdonald’s situation, just as we are with everyone with animals affected by this terrible disease. It is for this reason that the testing results and options for Geronimo have been very carefully considered by Defra (…) as well as passing several stages of thorough legal scrutiny.”
With Geronimo’s life still in the balance, has the might of the Lobby averted the alpaca-lypse?