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Calls to suspend Emanuel's export licence

Improvements to current national standards for live export will form part of the terms of reference for a "short, sharp" federal government review into the industry.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud says the review will include scientific literature and reports from independent observers on the outcomes of recent voyages, as well as the animal welfare skills of the crew.

Mr Littleproud says he was shocked by whistleblower footage showing sheep dying in their own filth during a 2017 live export trip where 2400 sheep died on board.

The terms of reference will allow livestock veterinarian Michael McCarthy, who is tasked with conducting the review, to expand into issues as they arise.

"Transparency builds trust. We need to let the light shine in. It's important we get this trade right for our farmers," Mr Littleproud said.

The review, which will consider ship stocking density, bedding and animal waste management, ventilation and heat stress risk, would also gauge improvements in administering the Australian Standards for Export of Livestock.

It will run alongside an investigation also launched by Mr Littleproud into the independent regulator and is due to to be complete in time for the 2018 northern summer trade,

Meanwhile, Animals Australia has called for the export licence of the company at the centre of the latest live export row to be suspended.

The animal welfare group has called on the Department of Agriculture to explain why Emanuel Exports still holds a licence to export livestock given the evidence confirming "comprehensive breaches".

"The secretary has the power to suspend an export licence if conditions of that licence have been breached," Animals Australia's strategy director Lyn White said.

Ms White said strong regulatory action was needed in response to the August 2017 incident where 2400 sheep died of suspected heat stress on board the MV Awassi Express.

The ship has been languishing in Fremantle Port as it undergoes improvements to meet new airflow standards implemented by the federal government.

Two other ships have docked since the Awassi was held in Fremantle, with the MV Maysora departing for Turkey last week with 77,000 sheep and 9500 cattle on board.

© AAP 2018