05/09/2015 5:42 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Johnny Depp Mocks Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce Over 'War On Terrier'

Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Black Mass during the 72nd edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. The 72nd edition of the festival runs until Sept. 12. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

Johnny Depp has delivered a crushing insult to Barnaby Joyce, labelling the Agriculture Minister a "sweaty, big-gutted man" while speaking at the Venice Film Festival in Italy.

The 52-year-old Hollywood actor mocked the immigration saga relating to his dogs' recent visit to Australia, after a government official threatened to have the pets put down for violating quarantine regulations.

Comedian John Oliver dubbed the scandal -- which grabbed international headlines -- the 'war on terrier'.

When asked what he had done about the immigration dilemma, the actor joked: "I killed my dogs and ate them under direct orders from some kinda, I dunno, sweaty, big-gutted man from Australia," he said in an apparent reference to Joyce.

When it was discovered Depp and wife Amber Heard had taken two Yorkshire terriers, named Pistol and Boo, into the country without filling out the proper paperwork or going through required quarantine procedures, the pair were forced to fly the dogs back to the US on a private jet.

The move followed Joyce's threats to have the animals killed if they remained on the Gold Coast, where Depp was on location for the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Depp is now facing a possible 10-year prison sentence and a large fine for illegally smuggling the dogs into the country, while Heard has been summoned to appear in court in Queensland on Monday to answer two charges of illegal importation and one count of producing a false document.