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Johnny Depp and wife Amber Heard’s two Yorkshire terriers, Boo and Pistol, will have to return to California or be put down after it was discovered that the Pirates of the Caribbean star had flouted Australia’s strict animal import laws and brought the dogs into the country without permits or a period in quarantine.
The dogs are believed to have come into Australia on Depp’s private jet when he returned to the Gold Coast earlier this month to resume filming on Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales after hand surgery. Customs authorities became aware of the dogs after they were photographed at a dog grooming salon on the Gold Coast, close to where the fifth installment of the Disney franchise is being filmed.
Australian agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce has given Depp until Saturday to send the dogs back to the U.S. “There is a process if you want to bring animals: you get the permits, they go into quarantine and then you can have them,” Joyce told Australia’s ABC radio. “But if we start letting movie stars — even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice — to come into our nation [and break the laws], then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?”
He concluded: “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.” Earlier, Joyce had said “if he doesn’t take Boo and Pistol back, we do have to euthanize them.” He added: “Just because he’s Johnny Depp doesn’t make him exempt from Australian laws.”
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was also drawn into the matter, which received wide media attention in Australia on Thursday. He said Depp could face large fines for breaching quarantine procedures.
Speaking on Macquarie Radio, Dutton said it was a serious matter “because if you have breaches of biosecurity, it can have big impacts.”
One Depp supporter garnered thousands of signatures on change.org after starting a petition called “Help me tell Barnaby Joyce not to kill or remove Johnny Depp’s dogs from Australia.”
Australia is rabies free, thanks to its strict quarantine laws, according to experts.
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