Stock-farmer indicted in illegal sale of Japanese 'wagyu' beef cattle eggs to China


The Mainichi (Mainichi Japan)

April 10, 2019


OSAKA -- A stock farmer has been indicted over suspected involvement in the illegal export of fertilized eggs and semen of Japanese Black "wagyu" cows to a ranch in China.


The Japanese Black is one of four types of cow raised for famed "wagyu" beef, and the domestic beef industry is fiercely protective of the "wagyu" brand and quality standards.


Investigators say 70-year-old Tetsuyuki Matsudaira, a stock raiser based in Yoshinogawa, Tokushima Prefecture, in western Japan, has admitted to selling the eggs and semen for 6.2 million yen (about $56,000). Details of the financial transaction method have also apparently come to light.


Osaka Prefectural Police have suspected a ranch in Hainan Province, China, of rearing the cows for at least five years. A cattle industry insider told police he had seen close to 100 wagyu cows on the site when he visited some years earlier. At the time, around one-third of the close to 300 cows there were Japanese Blacks. Many employees lived and worked at the ranch, while management maintained the appearance of affluence, often riding in luxury cars. It is believed that the number of Japanese Black cows at the ranch has increased since the report.


The Osaka District Public Prosecutors Office indicted Matsudaira on April 8 on charges of aiding and abetting violations of the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Disease Control. The indictment states that he sold the eggs and semen to Yusuke Maeda, 51, a yakiniku barbeque restaurant operator in Osaka Prefecture in June last year.


Matsudaira is also accused of...