Owner of beloved alpaca condemned to death says she’d take a bullet for him

The owner of an alpaca handed a death sentence by the Government has vowed to ‘take a bullet’ for her beloved animal.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has ordered Geronimo the alpaca be put down after he twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis.

However, owner Helen Macdonald, 50, has refused to let her furry friend die, despite losing her last ditch effort at the High Court last week.

Defra has warned her they will come to the farm to kill the alpaca if she fails to carry out the death warrant which came into effect yesterday.

Defiant Helen is now calling on Boris Johnson to save her beloved animal.

She told The Sun: “I can’t stand by and let my animal be killed and I’m willing to stand in the way of any gunman who comes to destroy Geronimo.

“They’ve picked on the wrong woman. There is no way that I will put him to sleep.”

The High Court has ordered Geronimo to be destroyed due to bovine TB, although Helen claims the positive tests were faulty.

She added that alpacas with TB usually only last a few months, however it has been more than four years since Geronimo tested positive.

Geronimo has been in quarantine with five other alpacas on her farm in Wickwar, near Bristol since arriving in the UK in August 2017.

The stud had tested negative for bovine TB in New Zealand but when Helen agreed to a voluntary test as part of national surveillance of the disease the result came back positive.

Defra decided to conduct a second test in November 2017, which also came back positive, and Geronimo was earmarked for slaughter.

The vet is now living in fear of Defra descending on her farm to kill the animal.

She said: “Every time a van goes past I’m worried it’s Defra come to carry out the warrant and that’s incredibly frightening.”

Helen has received support from celebrities in her battle to save Geronimo from being killed.

Actress Joanna Lumley said: “When in doubt, don’t. So please spare Geronimo, as there is real doubt hanging over this death sentence.”

Naturalist Chris Packham also called for Environment Secretary George Eustice to halt the planned killing.

However, Mr Eustice said Geronimo had twice tested positive using a ‘highly specific and reliable test’, The Sun reports.

The Environment Secretary added that he had ‘huge sympathy’ for Helen and fellow farmers as his own family lost some of their cattle to TB.