Live sheep exports to the Middle East will stop next northern hemisphere summer with the industry slapping a three-month moratorium on the controversial trade.
From June 1 next year no shipments of sheep will depart any Australian port for the Middle East during the highest heat stress risk period of the northern summer.
The move is expected to cost the industry about $55 million a year.
Exporters will observe the moratorium while the industry develops new technology which could address the heat risks associated with June, July and August shipments.
Methods to detect and avoid temperature extremes, and on-board dehumidification, are among the measures being considered by research and development body Livecorp.
Australian Livestock Exporters' Council chairman Simon Crean said the moratorium was about maintaining a strong and viable nine-month-a-year live sheep trade.
"The live sheep trade to the Middle East needs to be reset," Mr Crean said.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the government would wait for the results of a review of heat stress, which are expected to be released shortly.
"It would have been better if industry had shown leadership across a broad range of animal welfare matters some years ago," Mr Littleproud said.
Labor's agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said the industry moratorium showed the Morrison government was lagging behind.
"The Morrison government must start listening to the people: the live sheep trade is acting where the government won't," Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Animals Australia's Lyn White dismissed the moratorium as a "classic PR move" designed to pre-empt the outcome of the heat stress review.
It comes after crossbench MPs ramped up the pressure on the government to support a push to phase out live sheep exports over five years.
Labor has committed to ending the trade if elected to government at next year's federal election, pledging to transition the industry to chilled meat processing.
"This should be seen for what it is, an admission of guilt and an attempt to save their own skins," Ms White said
The coalition government has reformed the trade through lower stocking densities and independent observers on all voyages after shocking footage sparked calls for the industry to be shut down.
Earlier in the year, video was released of sheep dying in their own filth in horrific conditions aboard a ship destined for the Middle East.