Downing Street has said it “sympathises” with the owner of alpaca Geronimo, but insisted that there are “no plans for any further tests” to save the animal from being put down after it twice tested positive for bovine TB.

Farmer Helen Macdonald has pleaded for the life of her animal, but fears he will be taken to slaughter “any minute” after she lost her High Court battle last week to save him.

A new warrant was issued for Geronimo’s death on Thursday, with a “kill window” of 30 days. But his owner insists that the eight-year-old stud male has been “completely fit and healthy” over the last two years, and not infected by bovine tuberculosis (bTB).

Ms Macdonald, a veterinary nurse, who breeds alpacas at her farm in Gloucestershire, has disputed the results of the bTB tests since 2017.

Her unsuccessful judicial review relied on a new test result showing that Geronimo has not had bTB.

Asked whether a new test could be arranged to give Geronimo another chance of life, Boris Johnson’s official spokesperson said: “The test used on Geronimo is highly specific, it is validated, it is reliable and the risk of a false positive is extremely low.

“A retest after two consecutive positive test results wouldn’t invalidate the previous tests.

“So, there’s no plans for any further tests.”

He added: “We recognise how distressing this clearly is for Ms Macdonald, as it is for farmers who have had to put cattle down – 27,000 had to be put down last year alone.

“We need disease control measures to be applied consistently if we are able to tackle it and obviously that’s why we need to move ahead now.

“We have done these highly accurate tests and we’ve no plans to change that.”

The spokesperson added: “We know how distressing losing animals to TB is for farmers and our sympathies are with Ms Macdonald and everyone with animals affected by this terrible disease.

“The Environment Secretary has looked at this case very carefully multiple times over the last few years, and has interrogated all the evidence with expert vets alongside the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

“But, sadly, Geronimo has tested positive twice for TB using highly specific, reliable and validated tests.”

The spokesman said the government would “continue to do everything that we can” to eradicate bovine TB.

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