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.
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