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The Man In Line To Be Deputy PM Has An Incredible History With Animals

A short (ish) history of Barnaby Joyce and his recent animal interactions.

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Barnaby Joyce, the politician who rose to infamy after threatening to kill Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's two Yorkshire terriers, might be Australia's next deputy PM.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

Joyce confirmed to Fairfax Media that he will run for the leadership of the Nationals if, as has been speculated, current leader Warren Truss resigns.

If he is successful, Joyce would become the next deputy prime minister of Australia.

You might remember Joyce from such iconic moments as when he told terriers Pistol and Boo to "bugger off back to the United States.

After it was revealed Depp and Heard had illegally brought the dogs into the country, Joyce publicly lambasted the famous couple for breaking Australia's biosecurity laws.

He gave the dogs two days to leave the country before they were euthanised, and Pistol and Boo hastily fled Australia on a private jet. They live to this day.

And then Johnny Depp called Joyce a "sweaty big-gutted man from Australia".

View this video on YouTube

(Watch from 1:47.)

Depp and Heard were pretty mad about, y'know, the whole dog murder threat thing.

The saga isn't over, either – Amber Heard will face trial in Australia for breaking quarantine laws in April this year.

Amidst the international attention, mockery, and condemnation the dog saga drew, Joyce insisted that he likes animals.

Network Ten / Fairfax Media

It's true that there is photographic evidence of him smiling – if a little maniacally – with a Peruvian alpaca.

Daniel Munoz / AAPIMAGE

But does a second photo from that same "happy" day reflect his true feelings?

Daniel Munoz / AAPIMAGE

Once the Depp and Heard dog saga had quietened down a little... Barnaby was on the prowl again.

Joyce suggested wild dogs in regional Australia should be killed, pointing out the danger they pose to Australian livestock.

A couple months later came this ominous tweet. "Bye bye biosecurity beagles." W...where are the beagles going, Barnaby?

.@Barnaby_Joyce MEDIA RELEASE: Sydney says bye bye biosecurity beagles

Does this beagle look frightened to you?

Twitter @DeptAgNews

Later on the SAME DAY, Joyce saw fit to pose with this dead snake and post it to Twitter.

First snake of the season, unfortunately it had been run over so I couldn't help it.

"Unfortunately" it had been "run over" so I "couldn't help it", he wrote. Defensive much?

At least he doesn't have a track record of killing reptiles or amphibians with vehicles.

Oh, wait.

That is a truly insane headline.

But when you mix Barnaby and animals, you never know what to expect.

Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Lane Sainty at

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