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The thespian couple have recorded a video outlining the importance of following Australia’s quarantine laws after charges of illegally importing their two Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, into Australia were dropped.
Heard avoided a possible 10 year prison sentence and a fine of nearly $100,000 and — more importantly for an actor who needs to travel for work — a recorded conviction after a one day court hearing the pair attended in Queensland’s Gold Coast on Monday.
Magistrate Margaret Callaghan gave Heard a one-month $1000 good behaviour bond, meaning that she cannot commit any other offences within Australia in the next month, saying that the Australian Department of Agriculture “will get more deterrence value from the video than any conviction:”
Two charges of illegally importing the dogs into Australia were dropped while Heard pleaded guilty to falsifying immigration papers by not declaring the dogs were on Depp’s private plane when she flew into Australia, where the actor was filming Pirates of the Caribbean 5, on April 21 last year.
Heard’s lawyer said the actress mistakenly believed paperwork for Pistol and Boo’s entry into Australia had been separately filed.
The 42 second video shows Heard and Depp publicly apologizing for their dogs’ unauthorized trip Down Under and Depp saying Australians are “just as unique” as their wildlife.
The pair address Australia’s strict biosecurity laws in the video, which reportedly had its script vetted by commonwealth prosecutors.
Heard describes “a treasure trove of unique plants, animals and people,” while Depp says that, “Australians are just as unique, both warm and direct. If you disrespect Australian law, they will tell you firmly.”
That’s perhaps a reference to then Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce who, when the dogs were discovered by media in a pet grooming salon in May last year, said they had better “bugger off” back to the U.S. or he’d arrange to have them put down.
A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture told THR that, “Ms. Heard and her husband, Johnny Depp, provided a video expressing remorse for her actions. The department is yet to consider how to best use the video provided by Ms. Heard in the longer term. It will initially be made available via our YouTube channel and Facebook page”.
“Today’s court outcome — coupled with the video — sends the message to all travelers that Australia’s biosecurity laws will be strictly enforced,” said the spokesman.
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