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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

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 2016, the twelve countries using the breed name ‘Wagyu’ provide only the following information on the DAD-IS database:

1988 origin; located country­wide and ACT (not Northern Territory); population of 2,916 in 2010
population of 96 in 2013
no data listed
population of 178 in 2015
no data listed
herdbook; population of 473 in 2014
used for general crossbreeding
population of more than 3 in 2010
South Africa
used for sire line to create more marbling in beef
United Kingdom
no data listed
herdbook 2006; population of 10,083 in 2015
Kobe used as breed local name; imported to US in 1975; unicolor: black or red

This page was last updated on: 2020-04-25

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