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Johnny Depp's dogs avoid death threat

Johnny Depp's two terriers have left Australia after a government minister threatened to have them euthanized. Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has said Depp was flouting Australia's laws.

After being met with death threats, Pistol and Boo Depp fled Australia on Friday following an angry statement from the country's agriculture minister accusing Hollywood Star Johnny Depp of smuggling his Yorkshire terriers into the country without the proper permits.

Depp, who is currently in Australia filming the fifth installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise, was given 72 hours by Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce on Wednesday to get the pups back to the United States or they would have to be euthanized.

Upon hearing that the dogs were aboard a private jet, their departure imminent, Joyce remarked that it was "the best news that I've got."

Australia has strict regulations to prevent diseases like rabies from coming into the country. Before bringing a pet Down Under, an owner must first obtain a permit and then wait out the 10-day quarantine period.

Depp and his wife, Amber Heard, secretly brought Pistol and Boo into Australia when they returned to the country via private jet on April 21 following Depp's surgery for an injury that befell him on set.

Joyce took exception to what he saw as Depp's assuming he was above the law because of his fame. "If you start letting movie stars - even though they've been sexiest man alive twice - to come into our nation (with pets), then why don't we just break laws for everybody?" the minister said.

The drama was intensely popular on social media, sparking the hashtag #WarOnTerrier and an online petition with 17,500 signatures asking Joyce to spare the dogs.

es/kms (AP, Reuters)

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