Amber Heard charged over dogs

SYDNEY • Film star Johnny Depp's wife Amber Heard has been charged with illegally bringing their Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo into Australia last May, according to the Department of Public Prosecution.

The actress was charged on Thursday with two counts of illegally importing the pets and one count of producing a false document. She flew them into the country on a private jet without a two-week quarantine and permit as required.

According to The Guardian, the importation charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of A$102,000 (S$103,115). The false document charge, which relates to information on an incoming passenger card, carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and a fine of A$10,200.

Heard was issued a summons to appear in a Queensland court on Sept 7. The couple drew international attention in May when the Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce ordered the dogs' return to the United States or face death when Depp returned to Australia to resume filming the fifth movie of Pirates Of The Caribbean series.

Australia has strict quarantine regulations to prevent diseases such as rabies from spreading on the arid continent.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 18, 2015, with the headline 'Amber Heard charged over dogs'. Print Edition | Subscribe