Johnny Depp’s wife, actress Amber Heard, has been charged over a biosecurity breach after illegally bringing dogs Boo and Pistol into Australia on a private jet and is due in a Queensland court in September.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions issued a summons against Heard.
She has been charged with two counts of illegal importation contrary to the quarantine act and one count of producing a false document.
Penalties include fines of up to $100,000 or up to 10 years imprisonment.
The Yorkshire terriers made international headlines in May when they were flown into Australia aboard Depp’s private jet while he and Heard were on the Gold Coast, where Depp has been filming the latest film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise.
A photo of the two dogs was shared on social media by a Gold Coast dog grooming salon, almost three weeks after they arrived in the country.
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce issued an ultimatum to Depp, saying the dogs should “bugger off” back to the United States or be put down.
The dogs were flown back to the United States a few days later.
Gold Coast lawyer Bill Potts questioned whether Australia’s reputation could be harmed over the case.
Mr Potts said the relatively trivial matter had been blown out of proportion.
“Penalties of up to $100,000 or 10 years imprisonment is a significant form of penalty, and it’s a bit like breaking a butterfly upon a wheel,” he said.
“Is this what we really want to be seen internationally for doing?”
The case is due to be heard in the Southport Magistrates Court on September 7.