Last month the film star flew his Yorkshire terriers named Pistol and Boo into the country on his private jet but did not take them through customs.
Now officials are threatening to put the dogs down and people are outraged over the ultimatum
Australia’s Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce made the story public in a televised statement.
Depp in Australia filming the latest installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.
Joyce said that a 51-year-old man, Jonathan Christopher Depp, decided to bring two dogs to “our nation, despite not getting the proper certification and the proper permits required. Basically it looked like he snuck them in.”
“Now Mr. Depp needs to take his dogs back to California or we’re going to have to euthanize them. He’s now got about 50 hours (out of a 72-hour notice period).”
Joyce made his statement Thursday morning local time, meaning the count will expire on Saturday morning.
The minister said that the Department needed to crack down on this high-profile case to make a point about Australia’s stringent animal import laws.
“If we start letting movie stars, even if they’ve been ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ twice, to come into our nation then why don’t we just break the laws for everybody. It’s time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States. After that I don’t expect to be invited to the opening of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean.'”
Australia’s strict biosecurity measures are in place in order to keep out canine diseases such as the bacterial infection leptospirosis and rabies.
Labor’s agriculture spokesman, Joel Fitzgibbon, said Joyce was making Boo and Pistol “walk the plank”.
“How was the breach of our border security allowed to occur in the first place?,” he asked.
“Instead of grandstanding before the media, Barnaby Joyce should be answering the hard questions about the breach and what role his biosecurity funding cuts may have played.”
It’s a ridiculous situation ripe for comedy if you can put aside the grave fate faced by two innocent terriers – and Twitter obviously could. Here are just a few highlights:
EXT. – GOLD COAST – SUNSET
Pistol: [sits in silence]
Boo: Shoot straight you ********, don't make a mess of it
— some media guy (@axmcc) May 14, 2015
— Vichy Thought Leader (@i_zzzzzz) May 14, 2015
I'm against killing dogs but definitely for making Johnny Depp unhappy. It's an ethical quandary………
— Eleanor Robertson (@marrowing) May 14, 2015
“We will decide which dogs come into this country, and the circumstances in which they come”. #deppdogs
— Michael Ryan (@theprovenance) May 14, 2015
— Wolf Cocklin (@wolfcat) May 14, 2015