A rogue Liberal MP's push to end live sheep exports is gaining more support from the opposition, with a five-year phase out firming as a potential timeline to stop the controversial trade.
Rural NSW backbencher Sussan Ley will introduce a private bill seeking to end the trade to parliament on Monday.
The opposition's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said Labor is close to supporting the legislation on the condition the industry's end date is no less than five years away.
But he wants faster action on Middle East-bound ships travelling in stifling heat during the impending northern hemisphere summer.
"There has to be a more immediate response to this summer trade which is really just appalling," Mr Fitzgibbon told Sky News on Wednesday.
The federal government is expected to stand firm on its commitment to retaining this year's northern summer trade when the findings of a report by livestock vet Michael McCarthy are released on Thursday.
That's despite the Australian Veterinarians' Association and the RSPCA arguing there is no way to protect sheep from heat stress on voyages to the Middle East during the hottest part of the year.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has foreshadowed tougher penalties for dodgy exporters, including harsher jail sentences and hefty fines.
Stocking density is also under the microscope after revelations of sheep dying in filth on overcrowded ships sparked outrage and a raft of government reviews.
Mr Fitzgibbon said any vote on Ms Ley's bill is unlikely to be before five looming by-elections, four of which are in Labor-held seats.
Former crossbench MP Rebekha Sharkie, who is also facing a by-election, on Wednesday pledged to support the Ley bill if re-elected.
Her two Centre Alliance colleagues will also back it in the Senate, along with the Greens and independent Derryn Hinch.
Mr Fitzgibbon said despite feigned anger by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and promises of swift action nothing had changed in the trade.
"Malcolm Turnbull said he wanted to take a science-based approach to this very large issue - well the science is in, apparently, and it's time Malcolm Turnbull to act," he told reporters, having travelled to Canberra for the report's release.
Cabinet minister Matt Canavan said the government won't make a "knee-jerk" reaction to the report.