Hollywood star Johnny Depp, who is in Australia filming the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film, finds himself in a stand-off with Canberra over the fate of his dogs, which the Australian government argues were brought into the country illegally. If they aren’t sent back home, Australia is threatening to kill the dogs.
The Australian Department of Agriculture argues that the dogs were brought into the country without the proper permits and in violation of the country’s biosecurity laws. “We found out he snuck them in because we saw him taking them to a poodle groomer,” Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce told reporters, according to the Guardian.
The dogs in question are two Yorkshire terriers named Boo and Pistol, and if Depp doesn’t ship them back to California on the private jet on which they arrived, they could be put down by the Australian government in a matter of hours. Joyce gave Depp 50 hours to get the dogs out of the country. “It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States,” Joyce said. “He can put them on the same chartered jet he flew out on to fly them back out of our nation.”
Australia has intense restrictions in place on importing dogs to prevent the spread of animal-borne diseases. Dogs must be vaccinated and checked for rabies by approved veterinarians before leaving for Australia, and then quarantined for a minimum of 10 days once they arrive. The guidelines posted online by the Australian Department of Agriculture include a 19-step guide to comply with these regulations. If they aren’t followed, the animal’s owner has to either send the dog home or pay for their pet’s euthanasia.
Depp appears to have not bothered complying with these, and the fracas over his pets has turned into a minor media firestorm, with reporters camped outside his Gold Coast mansion waiting for a glimpse of the dogs and to learn their fate.