The Unsuccessful Fight to Save Geronimo the Alpaca: A Timeline | Animal wellbeing


Geronimo, the alpaca at the center of a legal dispute who twice tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, was killed by government vets executing a court-ordered destruction warrant, after a four-year battle by his owner .

August 2017: Geronimo was brought to England from New Zealand by his owner Helen Macdonald and later tested positive for tuberculosis the same month.

November 2017: The alpaca tested positive for tuberculosis for the second time and is isolated from the rest of the herd at the farm in Wickwar, Gloucestershire.

July 2018: A court order for Geronimo’s destruction is sought by the government and he receives a stay of execution, to be put down by the end of August.

That same month, Macdonald filed for judicial review, saying new evidence showed the animal was healthy.

November 2018: In the first of a series of long legal battles, Macdonald won the right to a review in the High Court of London.

March 2019: A High Court hearing begins and Macdonald claims government experts relied on ‘flawed science’.

July 2019: The case is dismissed, prompting Macdonald to appeal. An order is issued restraining Geronimo’s death pending the request.

An emergency injunction is granted, delaying a warrant to kill the animal until an appeal hearing is heard on July 29, 2021.

July 2021: The case is again dismissed. A judge agrees to delay the start of a second execution warrant until August 5, before it is then extended until September 4.

August 2021: Defra officials arrive at Geronimo’s farm flanked by a police escort and take him out of his enclosure to carry out the destruction order.


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