- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
The owner of Geronimo the alpaca has urged prime minister Boris Johnson to intervene to quickly resolve the stand-off over the future of the animal.
Helen Macdonald said environment secretary George Eustice has been refusing to talk to her for nearly three years and is asking the prime minister to speak to her.
The alpaca has been sentenced to death after Ms Macdonald lost a last-ditch High Court bid to save him earlier this week.
Geronimo has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis but Ms Macdonald believes the tests are returning false positives and maintains the alpaca is healthy.
The destruction warrant is valid until September 4. Ms Macdonald wants the government to allow Geronimo to be tested for a third time or let him live to aid research into the disease.
Ms Macdonald and her supporters remain on “high alert” at her farm in Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, after a 24-hour reprieve expired.
Meanwhile, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) officials told Ms Macdonald nothing would be done before 5pm on August 20.
“We’re waiting for George Eustice to pick up the phone and speak to me and resolve this,” Ms Macdonald told Press Association.
Ms McDonald said she hasn’t heard anything from Defra or anyone and is asking for valid testing four years after they bungled the last one, or to keep Geronimo in isolation for research purposes.
She said that if Defra officials do destroy Geronimo, the “senseless killing” will take place “in front of a worldwide population”.
The uncertainty, anxiety and stress has caused sleeping problems for the veterinary nurse who alleges that she has been ignored by Mr Eustice and is now asking the prime minister to intervene.
“It’s not about Geronimo anymore - it’s about TB policy in general.”
“If they kill him, it’s not going to change anything because everyone knows what’s been going on. At least nine camelids have been killed the same way as they intend to kill him.”
Ms Macdonald imported Geronimo from New Zealand in 2017 and has kept the alpaca in isolation since
She has received an outpouring of support from the public, with more than 130,000 people signing a petition calling on the Prime Minister to halt the killing.
On Wednesday, a High Court judge refused her lawyer’s application for a temporary injunction to stop the destruction order and reopen the case.
Ms Macdonald said that when Defra officials do attend her farm to euthanise Geronimo, she will not break the law.
At her farm, friends, family and supporters have joined her to protest against Geronimo’s impending fate.
Last week, the government insisted all the evidence on the Geronimo’s condition had been “looked at very carefully”.
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, the Animal and Plant Health Agency and its veterinary experts, as well as passing several stages of thorough legal scrutiny.”
Includes reporting by PA