Geronimo's owner 'holding nerve' as South Gloucestershire alpaca awaits fate

Owner Helen Macdonald has owned Geronimo for 4 years. Credit: PA

The owner of an alpaca who faces destruction after testing positive for bovine tuberculosis says "we are holding our nerve" after a 24-hour reprieve expired.

Helen Macdonald said officials from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are yet to visit her farm in South Gloucestershire to enforce the destruction order.

Geronimo has twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis.

Ms Macdonald insists this is because he was double primed with tuberculin beforehand, returning false positive results.

Geronimo awaits his fate in isolation in South Gloucestershire Credit: Jacob King/PA

After she lost her latest High Court battle earlier this week to save Geronimo, DEFRA officials told Ms Macdonald nothing would be done before 5pm on Friday.

Today Helen Macdonald, who owns a farm in Wickwar said: "We are just holding our nerve and hoping that they (DEFRA) will consider other options as opposed to killing this perfectly healthy animal in plain sight of the world.

"There's no need to kill Geronimo now, what we need to do is sit down around the table and work out a way forward."

Ms Macdonald, who imported the alpaca from New Zealand, has received an outpouring of support from the public, with more than 130,000 people signing a petition calling on Boris Johnson 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 arrive at her farm to euthanise Geronimo, she will not break the law.

Supporters are at the farm in Wickwar day and night. Credit: ITV News

At the farm, friends, family and supporters have joined her to protest against Geronimo's impending fate.

Supporter Liz Browne from Bridgwater said: "Every time somebody comes up the road, which is a dead end you're thinking who is it? Friend or foe?

"We've got no overall strategy for dealing with it. I think as volunteers we are just here to guard Geronimo and support the family as best we can."

With all legal options exhausted it is now a question of not if but when DEFRA will come before its warrant ends on September 4th.