- Protesters are planning to hide an alpaca that the UK government wants dead among other identical animals.
- Geronimo the Alpaca was sentenced to death because it tested positive for bovine tuberculosis.
- The farm’s owner insists Geronimo is healthy.
Most people probably can’t tell the difference between five identical alpacas. A group of UK protesters vowing to protect a sick alpaca named Geronimo hopes the UK government can’t either.
The group of supporters — called the “Alpaca Angels” — are hoping to use a tactic straight out of the movie “Spartacus” to confuse government agents trying to euthanize Geronimo, a sick alpaca that tested positive for bovine tuberculosis, according to The Telegraph.
The activists have vowed to hide Geronimo among four other identical-looking alpacas at a Gloucestershire farm.
“I wouldn’t be able to say which alpaca he is. Would you?” one supporter told The Telegraph.
Geronimo was condemned to death earlier this year after he twice tested positive for the bovine disease, which is highly infectious and leads to the slaughter of thousands of livestock in the UK each year.
The farm’s owner, Helen Macdonald, tried and failed to halt the killing in court on Wednesday, but was told she had one day to kill the animal herself, according to the Telegraph.
Macdonald claimed that Geronimo is a healthy alpaca and insisted that his test results were false positives because he was primed with a tuberculin vaccine beforehand.
But the UK’s Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) rejected her claim and fact-checkers say it is unlikely that the tests came back with false positives.
DEFRA gave the executioners a warrant to enter Macdonald’s farm to look for Geronimo after a 24-hour grace period expired at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, The Telegraph reported.
Geronimo has become a sensation in the UK, sparking a debate about whether or not the government killing is justified. High-profile animal rights activists and demonstrators have been vocal in their support against the execution.
“If I put him down now, half the world will turn on me,” Macdonald told the Telegraph. “My vet doesn’t want to be involved. I wouldn’t ask my vet to do it. If they decide they want to come, I won’t make it easy for them and they’ll do what they have to do while the world watches.”
DEFRA refused to say when its executioners will arrive to kill Geronimo, but the warrant expires on September 4, the Telegraph report said.