Johnny Depp and wife apologise over Australia dog case | The Daily Star
06:19 PM, April 18, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:29 PM, April 18, 2016

Johnny Depp and wife apologise over Australia dog case

Actress Amber Heard has avoided a conviction for illegally taking her dogs into Australia.

Heard, married to actor Johnny Depp, had pleaded guilty in court to making a false statement on her immigration card about the couple's Yorkshire terriers.

But the Queensland judge gave her a one-month good behaviour bond with no conviction recorded. If she breaks the bond she must pay AUD$1,000 ($770; £540).

The authorities also released an unusual video apology from the couple.

In the video, which was shown in court and made public by the Department of Agriculture, the couple expressed remorse and advised travellers to respect Australian quarantine laws.

Heard and Depp both attended Southport Magistrate's Court in Queensland state, amid a media scrum.

Her guilty plea meant Depp was excused from giving evidence to the court.

Two illegal importation charges against her were dropped earlier.

They had carried a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail or fines of up to AUD$265,000.

Heard brought the dogs, Pistol and Boo, to Queensland in a private jet in May 2015 to visit Depp, who was filming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

The dogs' presence in the country was noticed after a local dog groomer posted a photo of them on social media.

Heard, 29, had pleaded guilty to declaring "No" on her immigration card under the section asking if she was bringing anything, including animals, into the country.

Her lawyer argued that the actress had done so because she thought Depp's assistants had already sorted out the dogs' travel documents.

The dogs were quickly taken out of the country and Heard vowed never to return to Australia.

Australia's tough quarantine laws are designed to keep disease at bay. Dogs entering from the US must spend 10 days in quarantine.

AUSTRALIA'S QUARANTINE LAWS

--Live animals and plants, plant material, animal products and some food from overseas cannot be brought into the country without government permission because they can introduce some of the world's most serious pests and diseases.

--Those who flout the rules face fines of more than AUD$66,000 ($51,000; £36,000) and risk 10 years jail.

--As an example of how serious it can be, in 1995 a 500km (310-mile) by 200km quarantine zone was established in northern Queensland just to control foreign fruit fly maggots.

 

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