The owner of a 'death-sentenced' alpaca has confirmed that a date has been set for the case to be heard in court.

Helen Macdonald, 47 of Wickwar, brought Geronimo the alpaca to the UK from New Zealand in August 2017.

Upon his arrival she had him voluntarily tested for TB, the result was positive.

Ever since, Helen has argued it was a false positive result due to a number of tests taken just before he left New Zealand. These involved him being injected with large amounts of tuberculin.

The Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) agreed to a retest but insisted he be given even more tuberculin. The repeated blood test result was a borderline fail with all other tests negative.

DEFRA then informed Helen that they intended to get a court order to kill Geronimo.

Helen applied for judicial review on the ruling and a date has finally been set for when the case will be heard by a High Court judge.

A full-day substantive judicial review hearing will now take place on Wednesday, 6 March.

In a statement, Helen said: "As the Secretary of State has rejected our latest request for the further testing of Geronimo, we do not expect that this substantive hearing can be avoided.

"We are therefore pursuing our preparations for the hearing in earnest, whereby we (and the government) continue to incur wholly unnecessary expenditure.

"By refusing a re-test, the Secretary of State has also foregone an invaluable opportunity to broaden his understanding of the accuracy and sustainability of the bTB testing procedures currently in place for camelids in this country."

In August of 2018, Helen Macdonald informed the Gazette that the ongoing argument had cost her over £100,000.

"I am not worried about the expenditure as it is the principal, you can't go round culling animals without any scientific evidence.

"I made the decision to follow it through and now there is an end in sight.

"Whatever the decision is on the day we can take it and then move on either way."