National

Men jailed for importing pig semen to create 'super sow'

Men jailed for importing pig semen to create 'super sow'
A WA pig farm has been fined $500,000, and two of its workers jailed, over an "arrogant" plan to create a Danish "super-pig" using smuggled semen.
Danish-owned GD Pork ran a secret breeding program out of its Pinjarra piggery for eight years, cheating Australia's strict quarantine laws.
The company's sole director Torben Soerensen, 39, and breeding manager Henning Laue, 74, admitted to aiding the criminal scheme for a portion of that time, until a tip-off led to its unravelling in 2017.
Danish-owned GD Pork ran a secret breeding program out of its Pinjarra piggery for eight years, cheating Australia's strict quarantine laws. (9News)
At least 200 pigs were artificially impregnated with Danish genes in attempt to gain a competitive edge by increasing litter sizes.
The farm's ultimate goal was to create a "super-sow" with 21 live babies.
A court heard GD Pork's Danish investors played a lead role in the illegal operation - smuggling the semen in shampoo bottles on flights to Perth.
The company's director Torben Soerensen, 39, has been sentenced to 18 months jail. (9News)
Breeding manager Henning Laue, 74, has been jailed for eight months. (9News)
Soerensen acted as the "frontman" who placed the orders and conducted the artificial inseminations, while Laue mainly advised on breed selection.
Australia's quarantine laws ban the importation of foreign pig reproductive materials to prevent serious disease outbreaks.
The court heard the Danish genes risked exposing WA pigs to Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, also known as "pig plague".
GD Pork folded in the wake of the scandal and has since come under new ownership.
It's the same piggery broken into by vegans and live-streamed to Facebook earlier this year.
Soerensen was sentenced to at least 18 months behind bars, while Laue will have to serve at least eight months.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019