“While I sympathize with Ms. Macdonald’s situation, we must follow science and kill animals that test positive for TB to minimize the spread of this insidious disease and ultimately eradicate the greatest threat to animal health in this country. ” She wrote.
According to Defra, over 27,000 cattle were slaughtered in England last year to fight the disease.
This is the second time Dr. Broadbent, the veterinarian, saw this with a local alpaca, he said. In 2018, another farmer had to test her alpaca after some cattle nearby tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Only one – Karly – was positive. The owners were very skeptical because they did not believe that Karly had come into contact with the cattle. After putting Karly to sleep – which he was legally obliged to do – he tested her blood.
“She passed the exam,” he said. “I am convinced she did not have TB.”
Bridget Tibbs, the owner of Karly, said it was absurd that the farmers, in order to retest alpacas for TB while they were still alive – for example to prove that Geronimo is healthy after all, which Ms. Macdonald wants to do – the approval of the Government need.
“The system kills unhealthy animals everywhere,” said Ms. Tibbs, who runs Cotswold Alpacas. “It’s barbaric.”
She called Geronimo, whom she had just visited, a “beautiful, strong, healthy male dog with the alpaca girl on his mind”.
One of the worst parts of it all, Ms. Macdonald said, is that she didn’t have to test Geronimo when he arrived from New Zealand. Rather, she volunteered a few weeks after he arrived because she was trying to encourage use of the test, she said.