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Danes pulled up by Australia for smuggling pig semen

Two Danish pig farmers face prison sentences in Australia for illegally importing pig semen into the country over a period spanning several years.

The two Danish citizens, Torben Sørensen and Henning Laue, are senior employees with GD Pork, a company based in Western Australia.

They will serve sentences of three and two years respectively.

The two men showed “a disturbing disregard” for Australian law and risked introducing exotic diseases to the country, agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie said.

Shampoo bottles were used to illegally bring the pig semen into Australia on a series of occasions between 2009 and 2017.

Such import gave the farmers an unfair competitive advantage by increasing genetic diversity and subjected Australia’s pig farming industry to “serious danger”, McKenzie said.

At least 199 sows were inseminated with the imported ejaculate, resulting in the births of up to 2,000 piglets, Australian national broadcaster ABC reports.

“GD Pork imported the semen illegally in an attempt to get an unfair advantage over its competitors, through new genetics,” McKenzie told the Australian Associated Press.

“Boar semen can potentially contain a number of exotic diseases, including porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, which could devastate Australian breeding herds,” she added.

Australian authorities apply strict rules for the import of biological products into the country in order to protect its ecosystems.

Danish pigs have better genetics than their Australian counterparts with regard to fertility, according to the ABC.

GD Pork is owned by a Danish company, Pork Australia, which collapsed this year as a result of the problems with its Australian firm and is expected to be dissolved, Ritzau reports.

READ ALSO: Danish bulls could provide sperm for climate-friendly cows

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PIGS

100 pigs loose on Danish road after truck overturns

A transport vehicle with about 100 pigs on board overturned onto a car on Friday morning at Munke Bjergby in western Zealand

100 pigs loose on Danish road after truck overturns
File photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

South Zealand and Lolland-Falster Police confirmed the accident, which occurred shortly after 7am.

“We were alerted that a pig transport overturned onto a car and that one person is trapped in the car. Both we, the fire service and Falck [paramedics, ed.] sent response teams,” police duty officer Lars Denholt told Ritzau.

“We are in contact with the driver of the passenger car, but we cannot get him out of the car, so we have some special equipment on the way now so we can get the trailer released and get him out,” Denholt said.

The police duty officer said that the extent of the male driver’s injuries were not yet known, but that rescue personnel “are not highly concerned about his condition”.

The accident happened at Munke Bjergbyvej, a road north of the town of Sorø. The road was blocked in both directions due to the accident.

Denholt warned that the road could take some time to clear.

“I expect this could take most of the day. We must locate all the pigs before we can open (the road) again. We will have to examine and assess all of them and possibly put some down if they have injuries that make them no longer usable,” he said.

Around 100 pigs which were in the overturned transport were wandering freely in the area due to the accident, the officer confirmed. A number of veterinarians have been called in to help assess the animals.

The cause of the accident was unknown, Denholt said at around 8:30am on Friday.

“We do not know (the cause) at this time. We have spoken to the driver of the transport and he is very shocked over what happened, so we’ve been unable to question him,” he said.

“For the same reason, we have not spoken to the driver of the car,” he added.

READ ALSO: Escaped cows cause chaos on Copenhagen highway

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