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Geronimo The Alpaca Killed By ‘Hazmat Hitmen’ Causes Outrage

by : Hannah Smith on : 31 Aug 2021 13:21
Geronimo The Alpaca Killed By 'Hazmat Hitmen' Causes OutragePA Images

Geronimo the Alpaca has reportedly been put down on orders of the government, despite large scale protests from animal rights activists.

The alpaca, who was ordered by the Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Areas (DEFRA) to be destroyed after twice testing positive for bovine tuberculosis, was led away by officials wearing blue hazmat suits from his home in South Gloucestershire earlier today, and was reportedly killed shortly afterwards.

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Geronimo’s case sparked widespread outrage in the UK, with campaigners fighting for a stay of execution arguing that the alpaca should be retested or be kept alive as a research subject for those studying the disease.

Crowds gathered outside the farm where Geronimo lived in a last-ditch attempt to protest the decision, with The Guardian reporting that one woman was briefly detained for ‘spraying officers with a water pistol.’

The case of Geronimo has hit headlines in the UK for several weeks as the alpaca’s owner and supporters campaigned against DEFRA’s order for the animal to be destroyed in order to ‘prevent the spread of the disease’, with his owner believing he had falsely tested positive for the disease.

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Following news of Geronimo’s imminent execution, The Sun described the officials who arrived to lead the alpaca away as ‘hazmat hitmen,’ while others took to social media to express their sadness and anger.

‘Defra should be absolutely ashamed,’ one person tweeted, while another wrote ‘I’m so sorry #Geronimo… you deserved better.’

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss told the BBC that the death of Geronimo was a ‘terribly sad situation’ but that it was ‘essential to protect the livelihoods of our farming industry and rural communities.’

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

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