DEATH-ROW alpaca Geronimo’s desperate owner yesterday raised her own “militia” to protect him from the firing squad.
Defiant Helen Macdonald, plus dozens of loyal supporters, are prepared to stand in the way “of any executioner”.
The owner of alpaca Geronimo created her own human shield with dozens of supporters to protect her animal from the firing squadCredit: SWNS
The alpaca, here with owner Helen Macdonald, which had two positive bovine TB test results is set to be culled in 25 daysCredit: PA
The human shield was revealed as others marched on Downing Street in an incredible show of support for Geronimo as his plight provoked growing national outrage.
Around 30 alpaca farmers, locals and activists were standing guard at Helen’s farm in Wickwar, Gloucestershire, and will maintain their vigil day and night.
Helen said her army could treble today and that they will guard the site for “as long as it takes”.
It came a day after Environment Secretary George Eustice said Geronimo must be killed following two positive bovine TB test results — despite there being question marks over their validity.
The death warrant was issued last Thursday and lasts for 30 days — meaning that as of this morning, there are 25 days to hold out.
We’ve got out our own militia now and we’re going to dig in for the next 25 days. They’re not going to kill Geronimo.
Veterinary nurse Helen, 50 — who has vowed to take a bullet for the animal — told The Sun: “We’ve got out our own militia now and we’re going to dig in for the next 25 days. They’re not going to kill Geronimo.
“I’m running on adrenaline. We could have over 100 people here tomorrow to help bolster our defences. It’s incredible.”
She did not rule out the possibility of erecting roadblocks and barricades if the ranks swell further — but refused to go into details for “operational reasons”.
‘No death, another test’
Meanwhile, scores of furious alpaca-lovers took to the streets to demand PM Boris Johnson and Mr Eustice reverse their heartless decision to put down Geronimo.
Activists urged Carrie Johnson, the PM’s animal-loving wife, to intervene and stop the killing of the eight-year-old alpaca. They chanted, “No death, another test,” and held placards reading “Justice for Geronimo” as they marched through central London to Downing Street.
After an outpouring of support, a petition to stop the culling has reached 100,000 signatures as Helen continues to fight the court order to put him down. In Monday’s Sun, our Wildlife Reporter — and the PM’s dad — Stanley Johnson spoke out passionately in a bid to save Geronimo.
And last night campaigners thanked The Sun for our efforts. Campaign organiser and wildlife protection activist Dominic Dyer said: “The country is divided in so many ways, one thing that brings us together is our love of animals.
“We are going to save this alpaca, help farmers to end this horrible badger cull, and do the right thing for taxpayers too. It was great to see Stanley speaking against this.” He read out a letter from Helen to the PM, asking him to make the “ethical decision”.
Dr Iain McGill, a vet and bovine TB expert advising Helen on her fight, said “poor Geronimo’s life still hangs in the balance”.
The alpaca was tested positive for TB and the rules are they have to be culled.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng hit back at Stanley Johnson’s stance on Geronimo, telling Sky News: “I’m not sure where Stanley’s coming from on this. The alpaca was tested positive for TB and the rules are they have to be culled.”
The Government says 27,000 cattle a year in England get TB and are slaughtered. The disease costs the taxpayer £100million a year.
Geronimo twice tested positive for TB after arriving in the UK from New Zealand in 2017. Helen says he had been injected with a vaccine called tuberculin, and so has antibodies which produced false positives.
She fought a £50,000 High Court battle which ended in a warrant for Geronimo to be killed being issued.
Outrage is growing as protesters marched on Downing Street in an incredible show of support for the animalCredit: PA
While campaigners thanked The Sun for our efforts, Helen said ‘We’ve got out our own militia now and we’re going to dig in for the next 25 days’
Campaign organiser and wildlife protection activist Dominic Dyer said ‘It was great to see Stanley speaking against this’Credit: Elliott Franks
HIS 2 TESTS ‘NOT FALSE’
ENVIRONMENT Secretary George Eustice says Geronimo’s two tests are incredibly accurate, and that two false positives would be impossible.
And even if a third came back negative, it wouldn’t override them. Ministers also worry that allowing the alpaca to live could lead to more legal challenges from others.