FEDERAL Agriculture Barnaby Joyce has warned Hollywood actor Johnny Depp that his two Yorkshire terriers must be deported or face being euthanised after failing to follow Australian quarantine standards.
“A gentlemen by the name of John Christopher Depp – otherwise known as (Captain) Jack Sparrow - has decided to bring into our nation two dogs without actually getting the proper certification and the proper permits required,” Mr Joyce told media today.
“Basically it looks like he snuck them in.
“We found out he snuck them in because we saw him taking them to a poodle groomer.
“Now, Mr Depp either has to take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanise them. He’s now got about 50 hours left to remove the dogs.
“He can put them on the same charter jet he flew out on and fly them back out of our nation.”
Mr Joyce said the biosecurity action - which is being managed by his Department - was important to prevent entry of various diseases like rabies into Australia.
He said there was an established process for animals entering Australian borders, but Mr Depp – despite being declared the sexiest man alive, twice – is not above the law.
“It’s time Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States - and after that I don’t expect to be invited to the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean,” he said.
The Department of Agriculture says it is investigating the alleged quarantine breach involving Mr Depp’s two Yorkshire terriers - Boo and Pistol.
It’s believed the pets were brought into Australia on the actor’s private plane last month when he returned for filming on the Gold Coast for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
Mr Joyce also told the ABC, “Just because he's Johnny Depp doesn't make him exempt from Australian laws”.
“If we are going to make an excuse for Johnny Depp because he's got a private jet and brought in his dogs, then I suppose you have to start making exemptions and excuses for everybody,” he said.
“The reason you can walk through a park in Brisbane and not have in the back of your mind, 'what happens if a rabid dog comes out and bites me or bites my kid?', is because we've kept that disease out.
“I'll tell you how close it is, it's in Bali, it's just next door, so this is not fanciful stuff and therefore we're very diligent about what comes into our nation.”
Exported or euthanised
The Department of Agriculture confirmed it became aware of an illegal animal importation on Tuesday, May 12.
“A biosecurity officer attended a Gold Coast property on 13 May and found two illegally imported dogs,” a statement said.
“Any animal which is imported without meeting Australia’s import conditions will be ordered into quarantine and will either be exported or euthanised.
“The dogs have been ordered into quarantine and the owners have been advised the dogs must be exported within 72 hours.”
The Department said it was reviewing how the dogs were brought into Australia without an import permit.
“Private jets are subject to the same strict biosecurity requirements as any other aircraft or vessel entering Australia,” it said.
“The Department is unable to comment on an individual’s imports or personal circumstances, regardless of whether that person is a public figure, and has no further comment to make about current investigations at this time.”