Registrations of British Wagyu have more than doubled on the year with figures released by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) showing that more than 35,000 were born in 2023.

The breed which is renowned for its highly marbled premium beef, saw 33,347 cross-bred calves sired by a Wagyu bull, with 2203 being pure bred or full blood. The total number of calves sired by a Wagyu in 2023 was 35,550 head which compares to 17,083 in 2022.

With a decade of BCMS figures now available, the 10-year trend from when the Wagyu Breeders’ Association (WBA) was established, is one of huge growth. Just 2405 Wagyu-sired calves were born in 2014 compared to 35,550, 10 years later. The breed now represents 1.8% of the circa 1.9m beef-sired calves born in Great Britain annually.

WBA director Chris Dickinson said: “Consumer demand for the world’s luxury beef shows no sign of slowing and it’s great to see British Wagyu numbers continuing to grow year-on-year.

“The profile of the breed has risen dramatically over the past decade and it is the easy-care nature of the cattle combined with a premium return that has attracted so many new farmers and breeders. It also taps into the expansion of beef from the dairy herd backed by integrated beef schemes like Warrendale’s.”

He added: “British Wagyu has become a significant player in the UK beef industry and as both a Wagyu producer and British Wagyu Association director there is still great potential ahead.”

The figures are backed by a British Wagyu quality assured branded beef scheme which is now entering its third year alongside Meat Image Japancarcase camera technology that takes digital images from the cut ribeye surface to objectively measure marbling score, marbling fineness and ribeye area giving an overall Digital Marble Score for each body of beef.

Registrations breakdown by country:

England Scotland Wales Total

Wagyu cross-bred 22,444 5324 5579 33,347

Wagyu pure-bred 1231 487 485 2203

Total 35,550

British Wagyu births 2023 - source BCMS

Registrations by year

Year 2014 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023

Wagyu pure-bred 251 1034 1047 1415 1150 2203

Wagyu cross-bred 2154 4665 8388 12,042 15,933 33,347

GB Total 2405 5699 9435 13,457 17,083 35,550

British Wagyu births 2014-2023 - source BCMS