The Hereford is a British breed of beef cattle that originated in the county of Herefordshire, in the West Midlands of England. It has been exported to many countries, and there are more than five million purebred Hereford cattle in over fifty nations worldwide. The Hereford cattle export trade began from United Kingdom in 1817, starting in Kentucky, United States, spreading across the United States and Canada through Mexico to the great beef-raising countries of South America. Today, Hereford cattle dominate the world scene from Australasia to the Russian steppes. They can be found in Israel, Japan and throughout continental Europe and Scandinavia, in the temperate parts of Australia, Canada, the United States, Kazakhstan and Russia, in the centre and east of Argentina, in Uruguay, in Chile and New Zealand, where they make up the largest proportion of registered cattle. They are found all around Brazil and they are also found in some Southern African countries (mainly in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe). They originally found great popularity among ranchers of the American Southwest, testament to the hardiness of the breed; while originating in cool, moist Britain, they have proven to thrive in much harsher climates on nearly every continent.