One of Malcolm Turnbull's most senior lieutenants has promised that a rogue backbencher will not be punished for defying the government over live sheep exports.
Liberal MP Sussan Ley is pushing on with plans to introduce a private bill to phase out the trade, despite the coalition vowing to impose tougher rules on the embattled industry.
She said the changes didn't go far enough, with the trade in "terminal decline".
Cabinet minister Christopher Pyne says Ms Ley is entitled to pursue the legislation, which would end live sheep exports within five years.
"I welcome all backbenchers doing that. I think she is well within her rights. She has strong views about it," Mr Pyne told the Nine Network on Friday.
"We are not a Stalinist party, she certainly won't be punished for having those views."
Labor is increasingly likely to support Ms Ley's private bill.
The legislation also has the support of independent senator Derryn Hinch, who believes a slew of government MPs could cross the floor.
But Treasurer Scott Morrison isn't entertaining the prospect of the bill succeeding.
He says Mr Littleproud has struck the right balance between animal welfare and protecting people's livelihoods.
"There are no knee-jerk reactions from the government when it comes to this," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud on Thursday announced the government would adopt all 23 recommendations made by livestock vet Michael McCarthy's report into the northern hemisphere summer trade.
The review was commissioned by the minister after shocking footage was released showing almost 2500 sheep dying on a ship to the Middle East in 2016.
Mr Littleproud will travel to Kuwait and Qatar this weekend to allay concerns about the future of the trade.
Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese believes switching from live exports to "value-adding" in Australia will drive local employment.
"We need to immediately end the export during the summer months. We know that it is simply untenable," Mr Albanese said.
The government has rejected calls to ban the trade, arguing live sheep exports are important to farmers.
Under the new regulations, the number of animals on ships will be cut by up to 28 per cent, with up to 39 per cent more space on live export vessels.
Mr Littleproud will next week introduce to parliament tough penalties for dodgy exporters, with jail terms of up to 10 years for company directors and individuals, and multi-million dollar fines.