The 1981 discovery that horsemeat and kangaroo meat were being substituted for beef in meat exported by Australia to the United States and other countries produced widespread changes in Australian law and administration related to commodity exports.
The events revealed many deficiencies in industry regulation, including lack of attention to the accuracy of information regarding commodities, lax control of export approval stamps, and lack of a consistent flow of information from regional offices to the headquarters of the Bureau of Animal Health. In addition, the Australian meat industry appeared to be generally tolerant of malpractice and reluctant to report known or suspected cases. Furthermore, the Australian Federal Police devoted little time to the investigation of suspected malpractice. However, the scandal resulted in increased testing of products, increased penalties for substitutions, the establishment of a Royal Commission to examine the problem, the replacement of the Bureau of Animal Health with a new Export Inspection Service within the Department of Primary Industry, and new legislation. The regulatory revisions and the depressed economies of the export meat industry had significantly reduced the worst forms of malpractice by 1985. 21 reference notes.
Federation Press (Distributed by Gaunt)
71 Johnson Street, P.O. Box 45, Annandale, NSW 2038 Australia, Australia