The first autopsy results of the alpaca Geronimo suggest that he had no evidence of bovine TB, proponents of the animal killed claim.
The animal’s owner, Helen Macdonald, requested a copy of the autopsy after Geronimo was removed from her farm in South Gloucestershire and segregated by government officials.
Attorneys working for the veterinarian said she received a letter from the government legal department containing the preliminary results of the autopsy.
These results were then reviewed by veterinarians who assisted Ms. Macdonald.
The alpaca was euthanized after police and staff from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) arrived at Ms. Macdonald’s farm near Wickwar, South Gloucestershire on August 31.
Ms. Macdonald campaigned for the destruction to be stopped after she insisted that previous bovine tuberculosis tests gave false positive results.
She had wanted him to be tested a third time or to live to help research into the disease.
The vet argued that the Enferplex test was fundamentally flawed and said Geronimo tested positive because it was repeatedly primed with tuberculin – a purified protein derivative of bovine TB bacteria.
In a statement, the lawyers said, “As reported by Dr. Iain McGill and Dr. Bob Broadbent reviewed, gross preliminary post mortem findings are negative for visible lesions typical of bovine tuberculosis.
“For the sake of clarity, there are no white or cream-colored, cheesy, enlarged abscesses that are typical of bTB in alpacas, be it in the lungs, bronchi, mediastinal or retropharyngeal lymph nodes.
“Ms. Macdonald has received the full results of the Form TB50 autopsy report along with all relevant documents and the results of further examinations of tissue samples, blood, serum or plasma obtained or received from Geronimo, as well as any other formally requested test results including Enferplex, Idexx , Actiphage, and any other PCR or interferon gamma test performed by Defra, along with the results of the histopathological examination.
“She has also requested that fresh, frozen, and formalin-fixed tissue and fluid samples be kept and made available to an independent expert for further testing.”
In a statement, the Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. Christine Middlemiss: “We have completed Geronimo’s first autopsy.
“A number of TB-like lesions have been found which will now be further investigated in accordance with standard practice.
“These tests include developing bacteriological cultures from tissue samples, which typically takes several months – we expect the full autopsy and culture process to be completed by the end of the year.”
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