The Wagyu beef breed has its origins in Japan from where it has spread throughout Australasia, America and Europe. The story of Wagyu is a fascinating one as it was confined to Japan until the 1970s since it was regarded as a ‘national treasure’ and vehemently protected against export by the Japanese Government. The first bloodlines came out of Japan to America in the 1970s with Australia following in the 1990s, both quickly expanding and becoming influential in their respective beef industries.
Originally used as draft animals, Wagyu cattle were selected for their physical endurance which favoured animals with more intra-muscular fat cells, or ‘marbling’, which provided a readily available source of energy. Wagyu is a naturally horned breed with either a red or black coat colour. The name ‘Wagyu’ refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow.
According to figures released by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS), which records the numbers of animal ‘passport’ applications, 2691 Wagyu-sired calves were born in the UK 2013.
A clear description is vital to the integrity of all sectors of the Wagyu supply chain to accurately determine the level of Wagyu content being marketed. This includes genetics, livestock and meat products. The WBA has adopted the following Trade Descriptions of the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) to ensure all Wagyu-based products are clearly described. WBA recommends that all members and industry partners use them when referring to and marketing Wagyu-based products.
Wagyu Breed Trade Descriptions
When it comes to calving ease, eating quality and profitable beef production, Wagyu is in a league of its own.
Whether for box beef schemes, farm shops, supplying local restaurants, butchers, retailers or simply for beef farmers who just want trouble-free calvings and some of the world’s finest beef in their freezer, Wagyu beef is unrivalled when it comes to calving ease and eating quality.
An infusion of Wagyu genetics into commercial beef herds has the ability to dramatically increase the meat eating quality by increasing marbling, producing finer meat texture and decreasing subcutaneous fat.
Japanese research has shown that Wagyu x Holstein (see above picture) proves to be a fantastic cross, producing fast-growing, easy-finishing progeny with outstanding eating quality and commanding substantial premiums.
In many countries across the globe, farmers have started crossing Wagyu over Angus and Hereford cattle to further enhance the eating quality of their beef and ultimately the price per kilo they can charge.
Breeders of Continental cattle are waking up to the benefits of using Wagyu over maiden heifers. This ensures not only trouble-free calving but also offspring which combine tremendous commercial attributes with fantastic eating quality.
Easy Calving. There are easy calving breeds, there are very easy calving breeds and then there’s Wagyu. Wagyu sires can be used over heifers of all breeds with a high degree of confidence. Bulls are ideal for crossing over ‘extreme’ muscled heifers ensuring straightforward, easy calvings. The resulting calves combine outstanding commercial attributes with excellent eating quality.
Docility. Wagyu cattle are renowned for their docile nature being gentle-natured, placid and very easy to work with.
Food Conversion. Wagyu cattle have superior feed conversion and thrive on both intensive grain feeding systems as well as extensive pasture-based systems.
For Sale (Livestock & semen)