16 May 2015

Johnny Depp's dogs leave Australia

10:38 am on 16 May 2015

Two pet dogs owned by Hollywood star Johnny Depp have been flown out of Australia.

The actor Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp will face a formal interview as part of investigations into how his two dogs came into Australia. Photo: AFP

Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce made the announcement on Friday night in a simple tweet: "Dogs gone."

Pistol - one of two Yorkshire terriers owned by Johnny Depp and his wife, Amber Heard.

Depp's Yorkshire terrier, Pistol Photo: AAP / Instagram

An official media statement later said an officer from the Agriculture Department escorted the dogs - Boo and Pistol - from the mansion where Depp was staying on the Gold Coast to the airport for their flight home.

"Two dogs that were brought into Australia without meeting our import requirements have now been exported back to their country of origin," Mr Joyce said in the statement.

"The department issued the necessary export documentation and correspondence to the relevant veterinary authority to facilitate the repatriation of the dogs.

"All costs associated with returning the dogs were met by the owners."

Depp has been living on the Gold Coast to film the latest instalment of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.

He is to face a formal interview with quarantine officers as part of investigations into how his two Yorkshire terriers were allegedly smuggled into the country.

Mr Joyce said despite the "hype and sensation surrounding the dogs' owners", Australia had strict biosecurity requirements for good reasons.

"To protect Australia from exotic pests and diseases that can seriously harm humans, animals and our economy," he said.

"Dogs can potentially carry a range of diseases including rabies, ehrlichia, leishmania and leptospirosis.

"These diseases are not present in Australia and some can seriously affect people."

The Australian Government said it supported the makers of Pirates Of The Caribbean.

It allowed two capuchin monkeys to be brought into the country for filming, but those animals had gone through proper quarantine processes.