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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Further coverage of Geronimo the alpaca

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Today’s Daily Mail carries a further article about Geronimo the alpaca.

It is likely that we will never be able to determine how Geronimo came to be infected with TB. But the evidence that he is truly infected is substantial and we are confident this is the case.

Geronimo has now been Enferplex tested twice. This is a highly-specific test and the fact that he has had two positives in succession, using this very sensitive method, gives rise to a very high probability of infection.

Properly validated serological tests, such as the Enferplex test for camelids, are potentially valuable in that they are able to detect disease in the early stages, before clinical signs appear.

Given this, it is possible that Geronimo could live for some time without any signs of ill health but he would pose an infection risk to other livestock and wildlife.

A Defra spokesperson said:

We are very sympathetic to Geronimo and his owner’s situation – just as we are with everyone with animals affected by this terrible disease. However, bovine TB causes devastation and distress for farmers and rural communities and that is why we must have robust procedures in place to reduce risk of the disease spreading.

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