The National Farmers' Federation has reiterated the warning that Middle Eastern customers will not switch to chilled sheepmeat if Australia phases out the live sheep trade and will instead turn to other nations with poorer animal welfare standards.
While in Dubai for COP28 in November, NFF president David Jochinke and CEOTony Mahar toured the Trans Emirates Livestock Trading facility.
"What we've seen is well-organised, clean facility with robust animal welfare standards," Mr Jochinke said.
"We've gained a greater understanding of why the live sheep trade is so important to the people in the Middle East who simply don't have the climate to raise sheep or the infrastructure to support processed sheepmeat.
"It was made crystal clear to us, while their preference is to source sheep from Australia, if the trade is banned, they will find an alternative country to trade with.
"We know Australia's animal welfare standards and practices are world-leading and Australian sheep are cared for before, during and after they are shipped.
"If the Albanese government genuinely cares about animal welfare and Australian farmers, it will reverse its decision to ban this trade.
"I encourage the Prime Minister to come and see for himself the facility in the Middle East and to have conversations with the people here who want to continue trading with us."
Australian Live Exporters' Council CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton said he thought it was tremendous that the NFF made the effort to visit the facility, demonstrating how important the trade is to the broader Australian agriculture sector.
"This shows the magnitude of the decision the government has in its hands," he said.
"This is not a discussion about processing versus live export, it's about making sure producers have every market opportunity available to them.
"The NFF's visit to the supply chain demonstrated that that's what that market desires, why would we dictate to our customers what their preferences should be simply because an activist-driven agenda here in Australia has come up with an ill-informed policy to phase out this industry?"
It comes as the federal government continues to sit on the report prepared by the independent phase out panel, which was completely in late October.
A spokeswoman from agriculture minister Murray Watt's office said the government was taking the time to properly assess all recommendations in the report and develop a responsible response.
"As I have stated previously, the report will be released following appropriate consideration by government," she said.
"The government will not be commenting on the details of the report while it carefully considers the recommendations."
Mr Harvey-Sutton said he didn't think it was very transparent for the government to withhold the report until they had considered their response.
"At the end of the day a lot of people put a lot of time and effort into that panel process and I think people have an expectation around what the panel's advice would be," he said.
"We're very clear that the only responsible response the government can give to the panel's report is to reverse the policy... there cannot be a benefit to Western Australia sheep producers if the live export industry is phased out.
"I think it's incumbent on the government to be honest with producers about what their plans are."