Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has linked the suspension of the live export industry to more asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat.
"When we close down the live animal export industry, it was around about the same time that we started seeing a lot of people arriving in boats in Australia," he told the regional leader's debate in Goulburn on Wednesday.
Asked to clarify his comments, the agriculture minister said the ban created an ill-feeling and bad will with Indonesia.
The comment was dismissed by the Indonesian embassy in Canberra.
"There is no link between the policy of live export ban and the increased numbers of boats into Australia," a spokesman told AAP.