A farmer who aims to produce one of the most expensive meats in the world is hoping others will follow his lead and establish a new Scottish delicacy.
Japanese Wagyu embryos are being sold for the first time at a Scottish cattle show as Moshin Al-Tajir tries to spread the new line of cattle across the country.
Wagyu beef, which is considered a tender and succulent meat, can sell for up to £10,000 for a whole carcass in Japan.
Mr Al-Tajir and his wife Martine have been cross-breeding Wagyu with traditional Scottish pedigree cattle like Highlanders and Short Horns at Blackford Farm in Perthshire. Wagyu cattle is traditionally reared in warm temperatures but the farmer hopes crossing it with Scottish cattle can eventually lead to a pure-blood Scottish Wagyu that can stand up to the weather.
He said: "We have a herd of pedigree Wagyus, a herd of pedigree Angus and we have a herd of pedigree Shorthorns. We take the female calves while they're young and put embryos in them, and they produce pedigree Wagyu calves.
"We're trying to bring our own Wagyu to the country, Wagyu comes from very soft temperatures so they're not used to the harshness of the Scottish countryside, so we're trying to produce an animal that will stand up to the weather.
"We're taking all kinds of cattle and putting the Wagyu bull over them to produce crosses and the idea is to keep the girls and put another Wagyu bull over them again and again so that eventually you can come back to a pureblood Wagyu that has the Shorthorn or Highlander genetics and will be more used to our environment." The farmer bought Wagyu cattle and embryos from Australia last year and started cross-breeding.
Wagyu beef is famous for the streaks of fat that run through it giving it a 'marbled' effect. Food lovers say it makes the beef particularly soft and adds extra flavour when cooking. Premium cuts of the beef are sold for hundreds of pounds in the UK, in part due to importing costs.
"Almost all Wagyu that is eaten here comes from Australia or America and I can't understand why we don't do our own," Mr Al-Tajir said. "We certainly have the market for it, so we're trying to produce it and I think being Scottish would make it even better."
The embryos are being sold at the Stirling Bull Sale, one of the biggest events on the agricultural calendar, which starts on Monday. Thousands of farmers attend the sale to view and buy pedigree cattle, and prizes are also awarded to the best animals on show.