Early this morning, Barnaby Joyce, Australia’s Minister of Agriculture, tweeted in triumph, “Dogs gone.”
He was tweeting about these dogs, Pistol and Boo, who are gone, and who are also the Yorkshire Terriers owned by Johnny Depp and Amber Heard:
They are gone — gone from Australia, according to the Guardian. And not a moment too soon; Joyce was going to kill the dogs for violating his country’s quarantine laws. He made a big kerfuffle about it this week. He made some silly jokes. He said that the sexiest man alive (his words) was not immune from his country’s quarantine laws.
Depp was visiting the country to film the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and during his latest jaunt over to work on the film, he popped the two dogs on his private plane and hustled them to his rented villa. All of this skirted Australia’s quarantine laws, which are rightfully in place to prevent diseases like rabies from gaining a foothold in the country.
Depp flaunted those regulations, and once the Minister of Agriculture found out about it — thanks to Depp, who brought the dogs to a groomer for a little freshening up (which was of course splashed all over a local newspaper) — he decided to make his stand as Minister of Agriculture.
He threatened the dogs with death. And he won. Pistol and Boo were shortly back on a private plane, headed to the U.S.
According to the Guardian, a statement from Joyce said: “Two dogs that were brought into Australia without meeting our import requirements have now been exported back to their country of origin. A Department of Agriculture officer has escorted the two dogs from the property in Queensland, where they had been held under quarantine order, to the airport for their flight home. 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.”
Joyce, ever the gatekeeper, went on: “Despite the hype and sensation surrounding the dogs’ owners, Australia has strict bio-security requirements for good reasons — to protect Australia from exotic pests and diseases that can seriously harm humans, animals, and our economy.”
Here, again, are Pistol and Boo:
Now that the dogs are safely back on a plane, the Minister of Agriculture turned his attentions to a new crusade: Telling U.S. authorities that they should confiscate the dogs.
“They obviously got on the plane in the United States without telling the United States authorities that they were leaving,” Joyce told ABC radio, according to the Guardian. “Technically, if they absconded [without] the proper process of authorization in leaving the States, does the US recognize that they’re here? They’re stateless dogs.”
Good luck to Pistol and Boo. Hopefully the U.S. will not do something crazy, like threaten to euthanize them.
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