The news that Amber Heard has been charged with bringing dogs to Australia illegally should be greeted with approval. The comparative ease with which dogs can now be transported across international boundaries was always likely to bring problems with bio-security and increased ease of smuggling. Although the potential for dogs being smuggled in private aircraft is minimal, there can be no question that the law should apply to all, irrespective of wealth or status.
Ms Heard was recorded on Australian television as saying “I guess everyone tries to go for their 15 minutes, including some government officials”. Perhaps she is incapable of seeing anything outside of the bubble of her supposed celebrity. This is not a matter of being a ‘jobsworth’ but of protecting animals, including her own pets, against disease. Australia’s native fauna have been under threat since the early 19thC when ships’ cats devasated some wildlife.
Rabies remains a serious threat. A major outbreak could result in a widespread cull of vast numbers of animals, including pets. Not taking prophylactic precautions and proving it via the requisite paperwork is vital for all our sakes.
It will be interesting to see whether court action will rely on hitting Ms Heard in her pocket by imposing a fine or by setting an example and choosing a custodial sentence.