14 May 2015

Johnny Depp's dogs must leave Australia

4:30 pm on 14 May 2015

Actor Johnny Depp has been told he has until Saturday to remove his dogs from Australia or they will be put down.

Depp and his wife, Amber Heard, are accused of breaking import laws by not declaring Yorkshire Terriers Boo and Pistol to customs when they flew in to Queensland by private jet last month.

The actor Johnny Depp.

The actor Johnny Depp. Photo: AFP

Australia has strict quarantine laws to prevent the accidental import of animal disease and infections.

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the laws applied to everyone.

He said Boo and Pistol had been "snuck in" to Australia and were discovered when they were taken to a dog groomer.

"Mr Depp has to either take his dogs back to California or we're going to have to euthanise them," he told reporters on Thursday.

"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 back out of our nation."

Dogs brought into Australia must be law be quarantined for a minimum of 10 days after arrival, longer if they are suspected of carrying any diseases or tics.

An online petition to save the "cute dogs" had received more than 1,300 signatories by midday on Thursday.

"Have a heart Barnaby! Don't kill these cute puppies," it appealed. There was no immediate comment from Depp or Heard.

But Mr Joyce said: "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?

"It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States."

Depp is in Australia filming the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Dead Men Tell No Tales.

The Associated Press quoted his spokesman Brett Chant as saying the dogs were in "home quarantine", but he did not specify where.