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.
"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.
Companies in breach of the new rules could face fines of 4.2 million Australian dollars (USD 3.1 million) and directors jailed for up to 10 years.
Animal welfare activists accused the government of "double standards" on animal protection, calling for a ban on live exports.
White said the government was putting industry ahead of science in continuing with the live trade, a sector she branded an "ethical abomination".
But a key agricultural lobby group welcomed the review's recommendations as a "crucial first step" toward reforming the industry.
"Change that increases oversight and transparency, facilitates continuous improvement and most importantly, upholds animal welfare to the standard expected by all reasonable Australians." Australia's live animal export trade, worth more than 800 million dollars annually, has been under scrutiny in recent years after footage shot at offshore abattoirs showed cattle being mistreated.
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