Johnny Depp has been told to fly his Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo out of Australia by tomorrow or they will be put down.
Barnaby Joyce, the agriculture minister, accused Depp of smuggling the Yorkshire terriers aboard his private jet when he returned to Australia last month to resume filming the fifth instalment in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series at Gold Coast studios.
The agriculture department gave Depp and his wife Amber Heard 72-hour notice to start their pets on the 11,500km trip back to the US.
Joyce said: “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?
“It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States.”
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 on Saturday, Joyce said.
“Now Mr Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanise them,” he warned.
Joyce said the 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.”
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 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.
Chant said no decision has been made on whether further action will be taken against Depp for breaching quarantine regulations.
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