Film star and notorious animal lover, Johnny Depp and wife Amber Heard have been told by Australian authorities to remove their dogs, two Yorkshire Terriers named Pistol and Boo, from the country or they’ll be seized and euthanized.
Depp is renting a home on Australia’s Gold Coast while filming the latest in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The couple reportedly illegally brought Pistol and Boo into Australia via private jet, failing to declare the dogs before entering the country.
Australian Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce isn’t taking Depp’s disregard for strict laws regarding bring pets into the country lightly, giving the movie star 48 hours to either prove his dogs are legally allowed in Australia or “bugger off back to the United States” or Pistol and Boo could face seizure and euthanization.
In an interview with ABC 612 Brisbane Joyce said, “There is a process if you want to bring animals: you get the permits, they go into quarantine and then you can have them.
“But if we start letting movie stars – even though they’ve been the sexiest man alive twice – to come into our nation, then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody?”
Joyce’s harsh position has been met with strong opposition from around the world. A petition to save Johnny Depp’s dogs quickly gained 600 signatures in the first hour and is now to nearly 9,000.
Importing dogs into Australia legally is about a 7-month process that includes microchipping, rabies and other general vaccinations, bloodwork, titre testing, health certifications, and parasite treatments performed on a strict schedule by government veterinarians. After the dogs are approved for entry into the country, they must then be quarantined for 10 days upon arrival before being allowed in the community.
Australian pets have, in general, a very low occurrence of diseases, such as rabies and other animal illnesses, and Joyce credits that statistic with their strict animal laws and regulations.
When asked what will happen to Pistol and Boo if Depp ignores the demands to remove them from the country, Joyce confirmed that the Yorkies will ‘be destroyed.’
“That’s the deal,” he explained to 3AW NewsTalk Radio. “And if people think that’s a bit harsh, well I’ll tell you what harsh is. Harsh is if we let down our guard and ultimately rabies gets into the country.”
“Good luck to him, he’s a great actor and the sexiest man in the world and loves dogs and all this is marvelous – but he’s also got to obey the laws of our land,” Joyce said.
It is not likely that Pistol and Boo will be allowed to remain in Australia at this point, even if they’re seen by veterinarians and proven healthy and free of infectious diseases.
Johhny Depp has not commented on the ordeal.