#SaveGeronimo campaign is ‘undermining the current TB controls’

A campaign to save an alpaca called Geronimo in the UK – #SaveGeronimo – who has twice tested positive for bovine TB, has led to complaints from farmers that saving the animal would undermine the current TB controls that are in place. The High Court in the UK has ruled that the animal must be slaughtered and 130,000 people have signed a petition calling on the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene.

The owner of Geronimo, Helen Macdonald, was refused permission for Geronimo to undergo a third test as she believed the tests had been returning false positives. However the #SaveGeronimo campaign has drawn criticism from the farming community, where bovine TB is an ever present threat to farmers and their herds. Welsh dairy farmer Abi Reader, took to Twitter to say that her latest round of bovine TB testing returned 22 inconclusive results – having previously lost 10% of her herd to positive TB tests. Speaking on Twitter, Reader said: “Farmer to farmer, this is a direct message to Helen who owns Geronimo.

My heart goes out to you. Myself and many other farmers have been in your place. Myself and many other farmers would give a lot to not have to say goodbye to their animals.
“You have had Geronimo since 2017 but I’ve had some of my animals a lot longer than that. “They are descended from my father’s and my grandfather’s herd and they are embedded in every part of my life, so I understand what you are going through and I feel that you are undermining the current TB controls. Check out the tweet here: https://twitter.com/AbiReader/status/1426601425728151555 “These tests aren’t perfect but it is all we have. There’s nothing else out there and you can’t keep testing until you find that negative result that you want. “We have to keep fighting; don’t let it drop but don’t undermine it, because there are thousands of us out there who are going through so much heartache and you are making it incredibly difficult.”