Geronimo the alpaca did not have TB according to post mortem, owner claims 1 month ago

Geronimo the alpaca did not have TB according to post mortem, owner claims

Geronimo was culled last week after twice testing positive for the disease

Geronimo the alpaca's owner has claimed that the initial tests after his culling show that he didn't have bovine tuberculosis.


Geronimo was killed by government officials on August 31 as he was believed to have had the disease, which is incredibly dangerous to cows.

But his owner, Helen Macdonald, claims that the first results of a post-mortem examination have come back showing no signs that he had bovine TB.

She requested a copy of the post-mortem examination after he was removed from her farm in South Gloucestershire last week.

Macdonald's lawyers have said that she received a letter from the Government Legal Department containing the preliminary findings of the post-mortem.

These findings were then reviewed by veterinary surgeons supporting Ms Macdonald.

More tests are set to be carried out to get a conclusive answer as to whether Geronimo had Bovine TB or not.


In a statement, the lawyers said: "As reviewed by Dr Iain McGill and Dr Bob Broadbent, the preliminary gross post-mortem findings are negative for visible lesions typical of Bovine Tuberculosis.

"For clarity there are no white or cream caseous, enlarged abscesses typical for bTB in alpacas whether in the lungs, bronchial, mediastinal or retropharyngeal lymph nodes.

"Ms Macdonald has formally requested the full findings of the post-mortem report ‘Form TB50’, together with all relevant documents and the results of further tests on tissue samples, blood, serum or plasma taken or obtained from Geronimo, along with any further test results including Enferplex, Idexx, Actiphage and any other PCR or interferon gamma tests performed by Defra, along with the results of histopathological examination.

"She has further requested that both fresh, frozen and formalin fixed tissue and fluid samples be preserved and provided to an independent expert to carry out further tests."

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Death-row alpaca Geronimo has been killed

However, in a statement to JOE the Department for Environmental, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) rubbished Macdonald's claims.

Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Christine Middlemiss said: "We have completed the initial post-mortem examination of Geronimo.

"A number of TB-like lesions were found and in line with standard practice these are now undergoing further investigation.


"These tests include the developing of bacteriological cultures from tissue samples which usually takes several months - we would expect to complete the full post-mortem and culture process by the end of the year."