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The cattle industry in Australia is one of the most important to its economy. This encompasses both meat and dairy, since cows can be raised for both pursuits. Cattle are mostly pasture-raised and are largely free of Mad-Cow Disease, and 6% of the cattle raised for meat are exported to other countries. Cattle farming is a popular and lucrative pursuit, and extends from small farms to enormous cattle stations run by large corporations. Dairy production from cattle was initially part of a price-regulation scheme that protected smaller producers, but has been entirely deregulated since 2000. Exports are considered a valuable market for dairy products, which make almost one-fourth of Australia's total agriculture market. The cattle industry also plays an important part in Australia's water conservation industry, which is vital for stability considering Australia's generally arid climate. New regulation and procedures help limit pollution and disease in fresh water from so many cows and their byproducts. Overall, the cattle industry is both culturally and economically important to Australia, and is likely to continue expansion and growth in the future.
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