Australia has suspended trade with three abattoirs in Vietnam after fresh video footage showing cattle being mistreated emerged.
Barnaby Joyce has warned negligent live cattle exporters they could have their licences revoked while resisting fresh pressure to suspend trade to Vietnam.
Exports to three abattoirs in the southeast Asian nation have been suspended after footage emerged of animals being bludgeoned to death with sledgehammers.
Animal welfare advocates want trade to be suspended entirely until the security of supply chains can be guaranteed.
The agriculture minister is rejecting those calls, saying it will only hurt farmers and regional communities.
But Mr Joyce has put on notice exporters found to be in breach of their duty of care.
"If I get back and find people have been haphazard or lackadaisical in their own internal controls ... then I'm prepared to take further action and I will," he said on Friday.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the three abattoirs breached rules and were not licensed to receive Australian cattle.
But he stressed Australia's strong animal welfare standards.
"We condemn animal cruelty full-stop," he said.
The opposition says the horrific images show stronger rules are needed, calling for an independent welfare officer to investigate mistreatment claims.
It's also accused Mr Joyce of undermining community confidence in the system by opening up new live export markets in quick succession.
"He's putting the regulatory system under enormous stress and when you do that, problems emerge," Labor agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said.
"Barnaby Joyce needs to start taking responsibility for his failings."
Labor has also rejected calls to suspend live trade.
Meanwhile, live exporters have agreed to strengthen animal welfare measures amid community pressure.
They've agreed to launch a three month independent inquiry into cattle traceability and control practices and also hold urgent talks with Vietnamese officials about training local abattoirs on Australian animal welfare standards.
The Australian Livestock Exporters Council says the industry is keen help to root out bludgeoning, a common practice in Vietnamese abattoirs.
"We want to get it right," chief executive Alison Penfold said.