herald

Sunday 11 December 2016

Depp warned 'send your two dogs home or we'll kill them'

showbiz

Australian authorities have ordered Johnny Depp to fly his dogs Pistol and Boo out of the country by tomorrow or they will be put down.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has accused Depp of smuggling the Yorkshire terriers aboard his private jet when he returned to Australia on April 21 to resume filming of the fifth instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series at Gold Coast studios.

The Agriculture Department on Wednesday gave Depp (51) and his wife Amber Heard (29) a 72-hour notice to send their pets back to the United States.

"If you start letting movie stars - even though they've been the sexiest man alive twice - to come into our nation (with pets), then why don't we just break laws for everybody?" Joyce said.

"It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States," he added.

Depp's canine saga became popular on social media too, under hashtag #WarOnTerrier.

Australia has strict quarantine regulations to prevent diseases such as rabies spreading to its shores. Bringing pets to Australia involves applying for a permit and a quarantine period on arrival of at least 10 days.

The department discovered that Depp had "snuck them in" after reports that a handler had taken the terriers in a handbag to a Gold Coast dog groomer, Joyce said. A biosecurity officer found the dogs at a Gold Coast house yesterday, the department said.

Euthanise

"Now Mr Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we're going to have to euthanise them," Joyce said.

Joyce's spokesman Brett Chant said the dogs were in "home quarantine", but would not say where.

The filming of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was disrupted in March when Depp, who plays the pirate captain Jack Sparrow, cut his hand on a glass door. He brought the dogs on his return flight from the US, where he underwent surgery to his hand.

The department was investigating how the pets were brought through Brisbane Airport.

Joyce said the Agriculture Department would be responsible for putting the dogs down if they do not leave Australia.

"After that, I don't expect to be invited to the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean," he said.

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