Entertainment & Arts

Johnny Depp's dogs: Wife Amber Heard summoned over smuggling

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Image copyright AP
Image caption The couple were in Australia while Depp filmed the fifth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise

The actress wife of Johnny Depp has been summoned to appear in court over allegations that she smuggled the couple's dogs into Australia.

Amber Heard came under fire in April for failing to declare Yorkshire terriers Pistol and Boo to authorities on their arrival in Brisbane.

Australia has strict animal quarantine laws to prevent importing infections.

At the time, a minister said the dogs would be put down if they stayed.

"It's time Pistol and Boo buggered off back to the United States," agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce said.

The dogs left the country unharmed a few days later.

However, a subsequent Senate hearing was told that Depp and Heard could be sentenced to as long as 10 years in jail, or be forced to pay a fine of up to $265,000 (£172,000) if they were found guilty of illegally importing then.

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Media captionAgriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said the dogs had to leave Australia or be destroyed

Depp is currently filming the latest instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise on Australia's Gold Coast.

But it is Heard, the star of Friday Night Lights and Magic Mike XXL, who has been ordered to appear in court, Australia's department of agriculture confirmed.

"Ms Amber Heard was served with a summons issued by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on July 14," a statement read.

"The CDPP's action follows an incident where a biosecurity officer attended a Gold Coast property in April and found two dogs alleged to be illegally imported.

"All animals entering Australia must have an import permit, and have undergone relevant testing and health checks signed off by a government veterinarian from the exporting country to ensure pests and diseases from overseas are not brought here."

Heard previously criticised the way the case had been handled, and suggested she would not return to the country.

"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," she told Australia's NBC.

"I guess everyone tries to go for their 15 minutes, including some government officials."

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