Fullblood and Commercial Breeding

Fullblood and crossbred herds

Fullblood Wagyu production

There are two Wagyu breeds outside of Japan – Japanese Black and Red Wagyu (also known as Japanese Brown and Akaushi). Both can be registered with the AWA using DNA technology to trace animal pedigrees back to the original founder animals exported from Japan.

An animal can only be registered as a Fullblood (Japanese Black or Red) Wagyu if all forebears originate from Japan and there is no evidence of outcrossing to other breeds.

Registered Fullbloods require DNA parent verification to the sire and dam to ensure complete pedigree accuracy. A Fullblood herd consists of 100% DNA-verified Wagyu cattle.

The major black strains of Japanese Black evolved with regional geographic isolation in Japan, with distinctive performance traits identified in the most important prefectural herds. The national Japanese beef herd today comprises 95% Japanese Black cattle.

Red Wagyu  (Akaushi) consist of Kochi and Kumamoto, which have been influenced by Korean and European breeds, particularly Simmental.

Utilising Wagyu BREEDPLAN will enable breeders to estimate the genetic merit of their animals and establish the pedigree of sires and dams to develop or improve a Fullblood herd.

Crossbred Wagyu production

Crossbred Wagyu herds typically use Fullblood sires with dams from other breeds, including first, second, third and fourth cross Wagyu females.  Angus is the most common cross with Wagyu, due to the high availability of consistent dam lines that demonstrate low-levels of marbling.

Crossbreeding enables production of large numbers of Wagyu-content animals within a single generation.

Commercial crossbred Wagyu herds

Commercial herds are generally first and second cross Fullblood Wagyu with another breed (primarily Angus) and are more often characterised by lower marbling scores (typically MS 4-6).

Defining Wagyu content

AWA Breed Descriptor

 

Notes:
The above table show crosses are the result of using a 100% Wagyu Fullblood bull.

A Purebred is referred to as a crossbred animal with 93+% Wagyu by content. Further crosses are also referred to as Purebreds. Fullblood animals can only be produced as a result of a Fullblood Wagyu male (100%) over a Fullblood Wagyu female (100%).

When visually inspecting Wagyu, it is helpful to understand what you are looking for in structure – whither height, rump shape, thigh or gait – an old document now, but still relevant, become familiar with Assessing Wagyu Cattle (pdf)

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Important Notice and Disclaimer


It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
  • AGBU is a joint venture of NSW Department of Primary Industries and the University of New England, which receives funding for this purpose from Meat and Livestock Australia Limited.
  • AWA relies solely on advice provided by AGBU and ABRI in accepting Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN software.
  • EBVs published in Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN are estimates of genetic potential of individual animals and may not reflect the raw animal phenotype.
  • EBVs can only be directly compared to other EBVs calculated in the same monthly Wagyu Group BREEDPLAN analysis.

Regarding pedigree and DNA testing results submitted to the AWA, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Pedigree and DNA data submitted and supplied to AWA may have errors in it which cannot be detected without further DNA testing.
  • Technology may have advanced since a particular test was undertaken so that previous inaccuracies which were not detectable are now able to be detected by current testing technology.
  • AWA estimates that less than 1% of the pedigree entries, ownership or breeding details in the AWA Herdbook may have errors or which may be misleading. For this reason, users ought to consider if they need to obtain independent testing of the relevant animal (if possible) to ensure that the data is accurate.

Regarding prefectural content, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
  • The calculation of prefectural content for Australian Herdbook animals relies on the accuracy of pedigree records and DNA samples provided by AWA members.
  • The reporting of prefectural content for animals within the AWA Herdbook relies on the calculation provided by ABRI.

If you consider that you do not understand or appreciate the nature and extent of the data provided on this website or the EBVs of a particular animal, then AWA strongly recommends that you seek independent expert advice.