September 26, 2020

Movie monkey not exempt from quarantine laws, threatening Aussie shoot of Pirates of Caribbean 5


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Australia’s tough biosecurity laws are threatening to delay production of the big budget Pirates of the 5 movie due to start shooting on Queensland’s in February.

One of the key characters — a capuchin monkey called Jack — could be tied up in quarantine for over a month unless the producers can convince Australian authorities to relax the rules.

Described as the “meanest, most rotten-tempered Simian in the Caribbean”, Jack has appeared in the four previous Pirates’ films and is usually played by at least two monkeys trained for the role.

But quarantine laws are looming as a major hurdle for producers who agreed to film much of the $250 million production in Queensland following incentives from the State and Federal Governments.

619515-593e04da-801e-11e4-9363-aba3d5afaa70It is understood they have even written to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman seeking his assistance in the matter.

His office yesterday refused to say if there was anything Mr Newman could do to overcome strict federal laws threatening to delay production.

A spokesman for the Department of Agriculture said they were yet to receive an import permit application from the producers, .

“All animals entering Australia are subject to rigorous health and biosecurity checks under strict import conditions,” said the spokesman.

“These conditions include a requirement for an import permit.”

626660-7d70fba2-7ff9-11e4-9363-aba3d5afaa70He said if an application was received for the capuchin monkeys, the department would “work closely with the importer to ensure a safe arrival”.

“Once this particular species of animal arrives in Australia, they are subject to a 30-day quarantine period before release under quarantine surveillance into premises approved by the appropriate State or Territory Government for the holding of the imported species,” the spokesman said.

“Imported primates that remain in Australia are subject to quarantine surveillance for life.”

Jerry Bruckheimer Films did not respond to questions from News Corp about arrangements for the monkey.

Jack is the offsider and pet of Captain Hector Barbossa played by Australian in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Hollywood heart-throbs Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom also star in the film series.

Pirate RushThe movie will initially be shot on the Gold Coast where set construction is well underway, before moving to sites north of Mackay and in Port Douglas in Far North Queensland.

Locations previously used for Pirates of the Caribbean films include London, Singapore, New Orleans, Port Royal in Jamaica, Tortuga which is part of Haiti and Cadiz in Spain.

The Federal Government provided $21.6 million in incentives to help convince the producers to make the movie in Queensland.

The State Government expects a $100 million economic benefit from the production, which is the biggest budget film ever shot in Queensland.


Geoffrey Rush

Geoffrey Rush with the monkey at the centre of the quarantine dispute. Picture: E.

Charbonneau/WireImage for Disney Pictures Source: News Corp Australia

Monkey Jack has appeared in all of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Picture: Supplied

The set for the Pirates of the Caribbean is under construction in the Gold Coast hinterland. Picture: Luke Marsden. Source: News Corp Australia

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