Farrer MP Sussan Ley insists she's entitled to push for an end to live sheep exports, despite the prime minister trying to talk her out of it.
The former cabinet minister intends to introduce a private member's bill to phase out the trade which is under increasing pressure following revelations of animal cruelty on ships bound for the Middle East.
Shocking footage prompted Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to commission a series of reviews, including a veterinarian-led audit of the northern summer trade, which is expected to deliver its findings late next week.
Ms Ley denied her conversation with Malcolm Turnbull was fiery, saying the Liberal Party had a tradition of MPs standing up for their beliefs.
“It's the prime minister's job to promote government policy and argue the case for waiting for the review and seeing what comes out of the minister's very positive actions so far,” she told Sky News late last week.
“I'm entitled as a private member to lodge this bill and argue for my case.”
Ms Ley said she had overwhelmingly positive feedback.
“One sheep farmer rang up and said the truck was loaded and about to leave his property,” she said.
“He asked where the sheep were going, was told they were going to the boat and said you can unload them right now.”
It's the prime minister's job to promote government policy and argue the case for waiting for the review and seeing what comes out of the minister's very positive actions so far.Member for Farrer Sussan Ley
Former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce said Ms Ley was on the wrong path, with the 2011 suspension of live cattle exports a reason why a ban should be opposed.
“Everyone got emotional – rightly so, rightly disgusted – they stopped the live cattle trade," Mr Joyce said. “Then they started meeting the people who were going broke and all of a sudden, the pendulum swung back the other way.”
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