A court warrant was issued on 31 August to remove a TB-positive alpaca known as ‘Geronimo’ from a farm in Gloucestershire, England.

The infected animal was moved from the premises to be euthanised by staff from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), in line with measures in place to control the spread of TB.

TB is an infectious diseases of cattle and other mammals and it one of the most significant animal health challenges faced by the UK. In 2020 alone, 27,000 cattle were slaughtered in the UK to curb the spread of the disease.

Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss said: “No one wants to have to cull infected animals if it can be avoided, but we need to follow the scientific evidence and cull animals that have tested positive for bTB to minimise spread of this insidious disease and ultimately eradicate the biggest threat to animal health in this country.”

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out by veterinary pathologists from the APHA, which will be followed up by a bacteriological culture of selected tissue samples.