GERONIMO the alpaca has been culled by Government vets carrying out a court-ordered warrant – despite pleas from his doting owner.
The animal was rounded up on Tuesday morning as other alpacas watched on from a nearby field, before being loaded into a trailer, which then left the farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire.
Defra said Geronimo was euthanised by staff from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in order to control the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
Live cam footage showed the alpaca being dragged away by men in hazmat suits while it struggled to break free – with the group nicknamed “Defra hitmen”.
Geronimo had twice tested positive for bovine TB although owner Helen Macdonald believed the tests had returned false positives and thousands of members of the public backed her plea to halt his culling.
Downing Street has expressed sympathy for Helen Macdonald, with the Prime Minister’s official spokesman saying: “It’s obviously highly distressing for someone to lose animals to TB and that’s a situation that farmers sadly have to face. Our sympathies are with Ms Macdonald and any others that are affected by this terrible disease.
Read our Geronimo live blog below for the latest updates…