THE federal opposition's attempt to embarrass member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson's stance on live sheep exporting has been dismissed
Ms Henderson and assistant Minister for regional development and Territories Sussan Ley have put out a joint statement.
Ms Henderson is now the assistant Minister for Social Services, Housing and Disability Services after the recent Federal Government reshuffle under new Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
"Labor’s actions were a disingenuous attempt to disrupt Parliament masquerading behind the cause of animal welfare," they said.
"The Private Member’s Bill to phase out long haul live sheep export, that we introduced on May 21, is currently being debated in the House of Representatives.
"As members of the ministry, it is no longer open to us to support any Private Member’s Bill or the Bill passed by the Senate.
"Combined with the advocacy from so many thousands of Australians, we are pleased that our strong stand so far and the Minister for Agriculture’s determination to hold the regulator to account, has resulted in the shutting down of the industry’s biggest offender."
The parliamentarians said the impending release of the Moss Review provided the government with a further opportunity to impose tough new rules relating to live exports.
"Our personal conviction on this issue remains and we will continue to advocate for a change in Coalition policy and for a phase out of this awful trade," they said.
As backbenchers Ms Henderson and Ms Ley led a government backlash against the live export trade after horrific footage showing the deaths of thousands of sheep en route to the Middle East last year.
They even proposed their own bill to stop the trade.
Just two votes were required to approve it in the House of Representatives but Ms Ley and Ms Henderson, who were recently elevated to the outer ministry, voted against moves to bring it on for debate.
To cross the floor, they would have needed to quit their ministerial positions.