Horrific footage of dead and dying sheep on ships bound for the Middle East has prompted sweeping reforms to Australia's live export trade, but Canberra stopped short of an outright ban Thursday.
Video images taken last year showed heat-stricken sheep crammed together in small, stifling pens and covered in excrement, shocking the Australian public when it was released by animal activists in April.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud on Thursday labelled the footage "disgraceful" but resisted calls to outlaw live exports entirely after a government review.
"There will be no ban to the live sheep trade in the Middle Eastern summer," he told reporters.
"However, as a result of this review, we will be making serious and meaningful change to the industry."
Exporters will now be required to increase cargo space for sheep by up to 39 per cent, varying according to seasonal temperature.
Independent observers will also have to travel on all ships carrying cattle or sheep.