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About Dr Mark Kennedy

Dr Mark Kennedy, Director of Kennedy Animal Welfare Consultancy, is a leading expert in the field of animal welfare science.

Since leaving the University of Cambridge with his doctorate, Mark has lectured on the behaviour and welfare of horses, farmed and companion animals and wildlife at institutions such as Writtle College and Anglia Ruskin University and has provided expert evidence-based content and opinion for animal welfare charities through consultancy and full-time engagement.

He is a widely published writer, his content appearing in diverse sources such as academic and professional journals, magazines and national newspapers, and he has appeared on television and radio commenting on topical animal welfare issues.

He has made many invaluable industry contacts over the years, and is passionate about engaging with people and organisations to make the world a better place both for animals and the people whose lives they support and enrich.

Mark’s Career to Date:

Prior to the establishment of Kennedy Animal Welfare Consultancy, Mark was Head of Science at World Animal Protection (formerly WSPA). Here his responsibilities included the development, support and review of the scientific evidence base underpinning animal welfare campaigning, policy development and advocacy, and the building of a scientific network engaging animal scientists, vets, policy makers, commercial interests, and animal welfare professionals to help advance animal welfare. Such engagement included the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the American Veterinary Medical Association. He provided science content for peer-reviewed science and technical publications and for World Animal Protection internal publications, and he presented World Animal Protection science at international conferences and workshops. He was responsible for development of the World Animal Protection science strategy, management of the science team, monitoring and evaluation of the work of the team, and the planning and administration of the science budget.

Before moving to World Animal Protection, Mark was Chief Executive Officer of Anglia Equine Consultancy and Senior Lecturer in Animal Welfare at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. In this position, his activities included:

  • Consultancy for RSPCA (UK): Developing horse welfare needs guidelines, and managing review of these with an international panel of horse welfare experts. Production of horse welfare needs literature review for RSPCA internal use.
  • Review of the welfare implications of methods of permanent identification of horses and ponies, with focus on hot branding, freeze marking and microchipping. Involved literature review, stakeholder consultation and behavioural observations during identification procedures. Deliverables included a scientific report, a proposal for new RSPCA policy on horse identification methods, a draft position statement for internal RSPCA consultation and draft FAQs on the position statement.
  • Representation of RSPCA at meetings of bodies such as the National Equine Welfare Council and at Equine Health and Welfare Strategy Meetings.
  • Consultancy for World Horse Welfare: Training of researchers in behavioural recording techniques. With a panel of prominent animal scientists, analysis of data and production of peer-reviewed research papers concerning the welfare of horses during long-distance transport for slaughter in Eastern Europe, and contribution to a report on this matter submitted to the European Parliament.
  • Membership of the Management Board of the National Equine Welfare Council.
  • British Equestrian Federation: Member of World Class Programme Scientific Advisory Group. Provision of behavioural advice to World Class Performance Programme and Young Horse Futurity Programme.
  • With Monty Roberts, Kelly Marks and research collaborators, conducting a blind trial on the effectiveness of the ‘Join-Up’ technique in training horses to perform a series of novel object tests.
  • Academic leadership of a Knowledge Transfer Project developing a tool which can non-invasively monitor physiological variables in exercising horses in order to address training and welfare needs of equine athletes.
  • Secondment sabbatical to two major Thoroughbred studs; Darley and Shadwell.

Mark has conducted, assessed, written about, and presented research on the behaviour and welfare of diverse species. His particular research interests include the effect of housing, training and management practices on equine behaviour and welfare, and equine reproductive behaviour, its management, and how this affects reproductive performance and welfare.
Mark has acted as invited scientific referee for the journals Behaviour, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Equine Veterinary Journal, Livestock Production Science and The Veterinary Record and for UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Norwegian Government research grant applications. By invitation, he attended the European Commission Equine Expert Meeting in Brussels in May 2014, the First Havemeyer Workshop on Infectious Diseases in Working Equids in Addis Ababa in November 2013, and he was on the Scientific Committee of the 7th International Colloquium on Working Equids 2014.

Mark’s full CV can be downloaded here: Full CV

A list of Mark’s publications and presentations can be downloaded here: Publication List

Many of Mark’s publications can be fully accessed through the ‘In the Press’ and 'Science Papers' headers on this website.

Mark’s profile on LinkedIn is available here: