Geronimo the alpaca to be put down after High Court refuse latest bid
The owner of condemned alpaca Geronimo has said she will "not give up the fight" despite another court judge ruling that her animal must be put down.
Geronimo has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, and the Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) had ordered him to be euthanised.
His owner, Helen Macdonald, who had imported the animal from New Zealand believes that the tests are returning false positives as a result of him being injected with too much tuberculin before his arrival in the UK.
She has called for a third test since 2017 but has been refused permission on multiple occasions.
Earlier this month ITV reported how Helen had lost her final appeal to save her beloved pet at the High Court in London.
Geronimo has been in isolation on Helen's farm in Wickwar in South Gloucestershire ever since and more than 130,000 people signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to put a stop to the killing.
At a hearing of Helen's latest appeal on Tuesday the judge, Mrs Justice Stacey, said that she would need further information from Ms Macdonald before she could make her final decision.
The hearing resumed on Wednesday August 18 and Mrs Stacey concluded that there was 'no prospect' of Ms Macdonald succeeding in her bid to reopen a previous ruling.
Ned Westaway, representing Defra the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha), told the court the agency would not seek to execute the warrant on Wednesday evening, and would give Ms Macdonald the opportunity to make her own arrangements for her alpaca.
Defending lawyer Catrin McGahey QC told the court that although Defra argued in previous hearings that there was a "residual risk" to other animals, the agency has also agreed Ms Macdonald's bio-security arrangements were "impeccable".
She also said it had come to light following the publicity resulting from Ms Macdonald's case that other animals who have been subjected to the same testing regime as Geronimo have later showed no signs of the disease after being euthanised.
However, following an adjournment to allow Ms Macdonald's lawyers to decide what evidence they wish Defra to produce and a time estimate of how long that may take, the judge refused to grant injunctions to spare Geronimo pending a further hearing and for disclosure.
Judge Mrs Stacey said that the farmer's complaint about non-disclosure did not give rise to an arguable case, but was a "disingenuous and backdoor way of seeking a further route to appeal" when there was none left.
In a statement on Wednesday Defra said: "There are no plans to execute the warrant today.
"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.
"Bovine tuberculosis is one of the greatest animal health threats we face today and causes devastation and distress for farming families and rural communities across the country, while costing the taxpayer around 100 million every year.
"Therefore, while nobody wants to cull infected animals, we need to do everything we can to tackle this disease to stop it spreading and to protect the livelihoods of those affected."