“While I sympathise with Ms. Macdonald’s situation, we need to follow the scientific evidence and cull animals that have tested positive for TB, to minimise spread of this insidious disease, and ultimately to eradicate the biggest threat to animal health in this country,” she wrote.
Over 27,000 cattle in England were slaughtered in the last year to tackle the disease according to Defra, which called the idea that priming could cause a false positive “misleading” in a blog post Monday.
This is the second time that Dr. Broadbent, the veterinary surgeon, has seen this with a local alpaca, he said. In 2018, another farmer was required to test her alpaca after some nearby cattle tested positive for bovine tuberculosis. Only one — Karly — was positive. The owners were highly skeptical because they did not think that Karly had come into contact with the cattle. After euthanizing Karly — which he was required to do by law — he tested her blood.
“She passed the test,” he said. “I am convinced that she did not have TB.”
Bridget Tibbs, Karly’s owner, said that it’s absurd that in order to retest alpacas for TB while they are alive — for example to prove that Geronimo is healthy after all, something that Ms. Macdonald wants to do — farmers need permission from the government.
“The system is killing undiseased animals all over the place,” said Ms. Tibbs, who runs Cotswold Alpacas. “It’s barbaric.”
She called Geronimo, whom she had just visited, a “beautiful, strong, healthy stud male with the girl alpacas on his mind.”
One of the worst aspects of it all, Ms. Macdonald said, is that she wasn’t required to test Geronimo when he first arrived from New Zealand. Rather, she volunteered to do so a few weeks after he arrived because she was trying to promote use of the test, she said.