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Wagyu -cow and calf- International

(most common name)

(transboundary/brand name):
• Japanese Native (Australia, South Africa)
(local/other name):
American Wagyu
• Kobe (USA)
• Negro japonés (Chile)

Wagyu, as a breed name, refers to cattle of Japanese Black descent that are bred outside of Japan.

Wagyu cattle are purebreds, but not full bloods. An animal is ‘full blood’ when it has a proven 100% parentage on both the sire and dam side back to the inception of the herdbook. ‘Purebred’ means that there is less than 100% parentage or the animal contains other breeds in its pedigree no matter how far back, i.e. it has been ‘bred up’ to obtain a defined genetic percentage through selective breeding.

Wagyu, when used as a breed name in Japan, refers to the Japanese Native which is extinct. However, in the USA and around the world, the breed names of American Wagyu, Wagyu and Kobe are used for beef cattle descending from Japanese Black exports and semen. To confuse things even further, Australia and South Africa use the breed name ‘Wagyu’ and also use the transboundary name of ‘Japanese Native’ for these cattle.

As of 2024, the countries using the breed name ‘Wagyu’ provide the following information on the DAD-IS database:

Transboundary breed name (Japanese Native); imported from Japan; 1988 origin; located country­wide and ACT (not Northern Territory); population maximum of 30,000 in 2022
population maximum of 96 in 2013
no population count listed
used for General crossbreeding and meat; herdbook 1995; imported from Japão; located Southern, Southeast, and Midwest region; and more information with a population maximum of 6,873 in 2020
population of 1,351 in 2022
no data listed
herdbook; population of 645 in 2022
used for general crossbreeding; population of 1 in 2022
herdbook; population maximum of 45 in 2019
South Africa
used for sire line to create more marbling in beef; population maximum of 3,500 in 2024
United Kingdom
population of 482 in 2015
herdbook 2006; population of 10,083 in 2015
‘Kobe’ used as breed local name; imported to US in 1975; unicolor: black or red; population of 4,000 in 2017

This page was last updated on: 2024-04-11

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