Barnaby Joyce Honoured Over Johnny Depp Dog Row
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce who became Johnny Depp's nemesis at the height of his dog importation scandal has been honoured for his role in the case.
Barnaby Joyce accused Depp and his wife Amber Heard of taking their Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, into the country illegally over the summer while Depp was Down Under filming the latest instalment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Joyce gave the couple a deadline to remove the animals from Australia, threatening that the pet pooches would be put down unless the stars complied, and the resulting furore hit headlines worldwide.
The scandal, dubbed the 'War on Terriers', has now won an award for Joyce, who has been honoured by Australia's Invasive Species Council for standing up to the actor, as well as for his work to protect the environment.
He has landed one of the organisation's Froggatt Awards, named in honour of Australian entomologist Walter Froggatt.
"It might have seemed like a bit of a joke at the time but Barnaby Joyce did the right thing by enforcing Australia's strict quarantine laws after discovering Mr Depp's dogs Pistol and Boo had been brought into the country in an apparent breach of quarantine laws," declares Invasive Species Council CEO Andrew Cox.
"Standing up to Johnny Depp was not enough to earn a Froggatt on its own, but Minister Joyce's award was guaranteed when he decided this month to implement new controls to limit marine biofouling on vessels arriving in Australia."
After the row, Depp later hit back at Joyce, branding him a "weird, sweaty-pated, gut-man who decided that two five (or) six-inch tea-cup Yorkshire terriers would harm the country".
Depp's wife Heard faces two counts of illegal importation of an animal and one count of producing a false document over the dog row.
She denies the charges and is due to stand trial in April