Johnny Depp flew his dogs back from Australia after a politician threatened to kill them

Johnny depp and his dawgsGetty Images/Amanda Macias/Business InsiderPistol and Boo (left) and actor Johnny Depp.

Film star Johnny Depp is flying his dogs home from Australia on Friday, a day after the Minister of Agriculture warned him to send the pair back to the United States to be quarantined or face having them put down.

Depp, who is in Australia to film the fifth of his blockbuster pirate movies, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, also faces a formal interview with government officers into how the Yorkshire terriers were allegedly smuggled in, a spokesman for Minister of Agriculture Barnaby Joyce told Reuters.

The dogs would be flying out “sometime this evening”, he said. The incident highlights tough animal security laws in Australia, which has had no reported cases of rabies among dogs.

Last month, Depp flew in the dogs on his private jet, without declaring them to customs but government officials followed a tip-off after they were seen on the way to a grooming salon.

“If we start letting movie stars, even if they have 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 Minister of Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said in a televised statement.

An online petition calling on Joyce to spare the dogs now has 17,500 signatures and has sparked a debate on Twitter.

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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