Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have probably gotten more press than they wanted during their time in Australia. The pair went there because Depp is working on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. The film production company was offered a $20 million tax incentive to shot the fifth installment of the Pirates franchise there.
As you may recall, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp caught some flak for smuggling in their two dogs, Pistol and Boo, against Australian regulations.
Australian Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce caught some camera time when he said, "There is a process if you want to bring animals: you get the permits, they go into quarantine and then you can have them. If we start letting movie stars even though they've been the sexiest man alive twice to come into our nation, then why don't we just break the laws for everybody? It's time that Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States."
A Dept. of Agriculture spokesperson in Australia added, "The Department of Agriculture is the Australian Government authority that manages animal imports to protect people’s health as well as animal and plant health. Any animal which is imported without meeting Australia’s import conditions will be ordered into quarantine and will either be exported or euthanized."
Rather than see their dogs euthanized, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp sent them back home to the U.S. When asked for a comment about the situation, Heard replied, "I have a feeling we're going to avoid the land Down Under from now on, just as much as we can, thanks to certain politicians there. I don't know, I guess everybody goes for their 15 minutes, including some government officials."
Even though the dogs were sent back home, a crime was allegedly committed under Australian law -- two crimes, actually: illegal importation and false documentation.
Amber Heard can apply to have a sentence determined in her absence. Australian law does allow for a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $75,000 fine for the illegal importation charge against her, and a maximum one year in prison and $7,500 fine for false documentation.
Amber Heard could be facing up to 11 years in prison: She's been charged with illegally smuggling her dogs into Australia. #enews
— E! News (@ENews) July 16, 2015
Jetpets is a company that transports pets internationally. A spokesperson for that company commented about Australia's lengthy and strident clearance program for pets like Amber Heard's.
"Australian houses have very few diseases (such as rabies) so our live animal import regulations are very strict. There are many tests and vaccines that must be done on certain dates during the seven months by a government vet. Australia require pets to apply for import permits, secure quarantine space and stay in quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in Australia prior to being released in to the community."
Amber Heard faces jail time in Australia? Guess they finally sat down as a nation and watched "Magic Mike XXL"
— Dan D'Addario (@DPD_) July 16, 2015