Keir Starmer: llama harmer – killing an alpaca with no symptoms of TB is his only policy

Keir Starmer: another foot-in-mouth moment for a failing Labour leader.

Once again we see Keir Starmer siding with the Tory government on an issue where they are both wrong.

He wants Geronimo the alpaca to be euthanised because of four-year-old test results for bovine tuberculosis – because that’s what Boris Johnson’s government wants. Starmer has no ideas of his own.

Geronimo was imported from New Zealand to a farm in South Gloucestershire in 2017, after being tested four times for bovine TB. Those tests came back negative.

But when he arrived, owner Helen Macdonald agreed to allow him to be tested with the Enferplex blood test, a voluntary test as part of national surveillance of the disease.

That test produced a positive result, as did a further test in November that year. But there are long-standing concerns about the accuracy of the government’s preferred tests, which have not been allayed by protestations that they are 99 per cent reliable.

Ms Macdonald reckons the tests produced false positives because Geronimo had been ‘primed’ by being injected with bovine tuberculin.

It is not clear to This Writer why this happened. Was it done as part of the New Zealand tests?

The government decided that Geronimo should be euthanised after the 2017 tests but this has been delayed because Ms Macdonald has resisted it in court.

She has just lost her final appeal in the High Court, and the government is expected to carry out its death sentence on the eight-year-old alpaca within 30 days.

This is what’s bothering me: while it is perfectly normal for it to take years for bovine TB symptoms to make themselves felt, it has now been four years since Geronimo’s first positive test.

Shouldn’t he be showing one or two such symptoms by now? (He isn’t.)

And: why is the government so reluctant to give Geronimo another test? Surely it would have been less expensive than all these legal shenanigans? (Believe me – I know how expensive court proceedings can be.)

Given all that, I wonder why Keir Starmer has got involved on the government’s side – or, indeed, at all.

It certainly hasn’t done him any good, as the comments from members of the public show.

Starmer said, “It’s always tragic when it happens. I don’t think we can make an exception in this case.”

His words provoked the following responses:

More damning still is the – accurate – claim that Starmer could be taking action to oppose the government on other issues, but has chosen instead to support it over Geronimo:

These are bad choices by a bad leader.

Source: Geronimo: Sir Keir Starmer says there’s ‘no alternative’ to alpaca’s slaughter | ITV News West Country

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