Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. The meat from such wagyu cattle is known for its quality, and commands a high price.
In several areas of Japan, wagyu beef is shipped carrying area names. Some examples are Matsusaka beef, Kobe beef, Yonezawa beef, Mishima beef, Ōmi beef, and Sanda beef.
The Angus is naturally polled and solid black or red, though the udder may be white. The native colour is black, but more recently red colours have emerged. The UK registers both in the same herd book, but in the US they are regarded as two separate breeds – Red Angus and Black Angus.
Black Angus is the most common breed of beef cattle in the US, with 324,266 animals registered in 2005. In 2014, the British Cattle Movement Service named Angus the UK’s most popular native beef breed, and the second most popular beef breed overall.
The Charolais is the second-most numerous cattle breed in France after the Holstein and the most common beef breed, ahead of the Limousin. At the end of 2014, France had 4.22 million head of Charolais, including 1.56 million cows, down 0.6% from a year earlier.
The Charolais is a world breed: it is reported to DAD-IS by 68 countries, of which 37 report population data.The world population is estimated at about 730,000. The largest populations are reported from the Czech Republic and Mexico.
Brahman is a beef breed that’s used most commonly across the USA, South America and Australia. The breed is developed from the Zebu cattle of Asia, and has been selectively bred from Indian strains of Kankrej, Ongole, Gir and Gujarat cattle.
Brahman cattle can adapt well to any climate, particularly countries with high temperatures and humidity. Their glossy coat reflects light and their skin is loose with special sweat glands to keep them cool.
Kedah-Kelantan cattle (KK) being an indigenous breed are highly adapted to the hot-humid Malaysian climate and can survive in harsh, marginal environments. This makes the KK a valuable genetic resource, given the challenges of climate change and the changing demands of the livestock sector.