A former cabinet minister has broken ranks with the government on live exports, calling for the trade to be phased out despite bipartisan support for the embattled industry.
NSW country-based Liberal MP and former health minister Sussan Ley is at odds with Agriculture Minister David Littleproud's ongoing support for live exports following revelations of cruelty to sheep.
"Enough is enough with these ships of shame. Saying other countries would be worse is a lazy non-argument," Ms Ley said on Twitter.
"Time to pick a date by which all live sheep exports must end. We can work with industry and farmers to make this happen."
Ms Ley, who resigned as health minister in January last year over an expenses scandal, wants the "monsters" responsible for cruelty to face prosecution.
Mr Littleproud's office has been contacted for comment.
Earlier, the minister branded live export cruelty as a "cancer" on the industry after announcing a veterinarian-led review into northern summer trading.
Respected vet Michael McCarthy is expected to make preliminary recommendations within four to five weeks after examining Australia's livestock trade during the northern-hemisphere summer.
While Dr McCarthy will review the summer trade, Mr Littleproud has firmly ruled out a summer ban proposed by WA Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
About 2400 sheep died on last year's Emanuel Exports voyage to the Middle East where temperatures soar from June to August.
The latest review comes a day after the minister announced an extraordinary audit of his own department, with the independent regulator facing questions over its culture, skills and resources.
The culture of the industry is also under the microscope.
There's renewed calls from animal welfare groups to abolish live exports after shocking footage emerged of sheep dying on a Middle-East bound ship in August last year.
"If we set that culture right, there's an expectation if you do the wrong thing you're going to get nailed. You don't have a livelihood," Mr Littleproud told reporters in Perth.
"You're a cancer and we're going to cut you out and remove you out of the industry."
Mr Littleproud lashed the regulator for the "disparity" between its report on the August incident and what was seen on the footage.
"It got up my nose, let me tell you. It just didn't add up to me," he said.
He stopped short of saying heads should roll, saying the regulator deserved a fair go but said he wasn't afraid to hold individuals accountable.
Meanwhile, the same Emanuel Exports ship at the centre of the controversy remains in Fremantle while an independent third party tests its ventilation systems.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority will not let it set sail until conditions are met, including requirements for minimum air flow across all areas of livestock pens.