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Dogs or daughter: Why did Johnny Depp leave Australia?

Hollywood star Johnny Depp and his wife Amber Heard have left Australia, but the actual reason for their departure remains unclear.

Depp had earlier landed himself in trouble with the Australian authorities for failing to declare his dogs when he arrived in the country in April, an infringement of the country's quarantine laws. 

The couple's departure comes just a week after Depp arranged for his pet Yorkshire terriers, Pistol and Boo, to be flown back to the US.

Australian Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce had issued him an ultimatum: Send Pistol and Boo home or they would be put down.

But another source is saying Depp had left the country to celebrate his daughter's birthday. 

Depp had travelled to Australia to film the upcoming Pirates of The Carribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which will see the 51-year-old reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow.

Break had been 'scheduled'

The Brisbane Times reported the film's publicist Michael Singer as saying that Depp had left to celebrate daughter Lily-Rose's 16th birthday back home in the US.

Singer said that the break had been scheduled for some time. 

"It doesn't impact filming in the least, filming is on schedule," Singer said about Depp's absence from the film's set.

It is not clear when Depp will return to resume filming

Still, questions have been raised as to whether Depp's departure had anything to do with the growing controversy surrounding him and his dogs.

Various sources reported that the actor could face harsh penalties for not declaring his dogs. 

On Monday (May 25), a Senate committee was told that Depp could face imprisonment or a maximum fine of A$340,000 (S$357,000) if found guilty of illegally bringing his pets into Australia.

Sources: The Brisbane Times, Xinhua News Agency, News.com.au, Sky News, Sydney Morning Herald

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