SO, a perfectly healthy alpaca is slaughtered to preserve the hide of a jackass.
Geronimo was killed today. Dragged away from his home on a rope pulled by masked-up ministry men.
Taken to a place of execution and shot through the head with a bolt gun. His distraught owner, Helen Macdonald, left sobbing at home.
The creature looked absolutely petrified — as well it might. They sent 25 coppers to make sure they got Geronimo. The lanes to his farm closed off at each end. All this for a single alpaca.
An utterly senseless waste of an animal’s life. All done by a vindictive and very worried government department which is clearly not fit for purpose. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was always determined to kill this creature.
The hopeless Secretary of State, George Eustice, misled the public over the testing procedures carried out on Geronimo. The alpaca supposedly tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. But the tests were deeply flawed.
Quite clearly the animal didn’t have TB — because those supposedly positive tests came four years ago.
And if they’d been correct he’d have been dead long before now.
But Defra had to kill him. They had to make an example of his owner, Helen Macdonald. As she said: “This is what you get when you try to question government.”
They had to kill him because alive, Geronimo represented a threat to the government’s horrendous policy of mass slaughter of animals suspected of having TB.
? Read our Geronimo the alpaca blog for the latest updates
Over the past eight years more than 140,000 badgers have been slaughtered by Defra. One of Britain’s best- loved animals.
And the culling of these shy and gentle creatures has been absolutely pointless. It has not reduced the number of TB infections.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the biggest driver of TB infections is bad animal husbandry on the part of farmers.
In any case, there is now a vaccine for bovine TB. Truth be told there has been a vaccine for a long time. But both farmers — and the European Union — have always been against inoculations. They want those badgers dead.
Just as they wanted Geronimo dead. There was no moral, scientific or practical reason for killing the alpaca. The only reason was for Useless Eustice to save face. And to continue the policy of killing badgers up and down the country.
Vet Dr Iain McGill has followed Geronimo’s case very closely.
OWNER’S MENTAL TORTURE
He said on Twitter today: “Defra have no idea of the fury they have unleashed, which may destroy them as a credible Dept of Govt: Falsifying scientific data, lying, mental torture of Helen Macdonald, and the welfare issues for Geronimo.”
I spoke to a tearful Helen Macdonald tonight. Geronimo had been a much-loved family pet. She said: “These people are f***ing criminals. They lied. And they set me up as an example.
“But we will not give in. Geronimo will not have died in vain. We will continue this fight for justice.”
I hope that is true. One thing, though, is beyond dispute. If you care about animal welfare, never, ever, vote Conservative.
The party has not the slightest regard for the welfare of our wildlife or the life of a single animal.
RIP Geronimo. Lots of people fought for you. In the end you took on the government and there was only going to be one winner. A callous and vindictive government.