Dr Mark Farnworth

Dr Mark Farnworth

Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Animal Welfare

School of Biological & Marine Sciences (Faculty of Science & Engineering)


Associate Professor Animal Behaviour and Welfare; Programme Leader MSc. Zoo Conservation Biology


BSc. Biological Sciences (Hons.) Zoology: University of Edinburgh; MSc. Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare: University of Edinburgh; PhD. Veterinary Science: Massey University (New Zealand).

Professional membership

International Society for Applied Ethology; Editorial Board Member: Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Roles on external bodies

Associate of the Jeanne Marchig International Centre for Animal Welfare Education (JMICAWE); Edinburgh University.

Teaching interests

My teaching focusses on applied behaviour and animal welfare. More broadly my interests lie in assisting students in improving their critical thinking skills which make them work-ready and responsive to a rapidly changing animal welfare landscape.

Staff serving as external examiners

External examiner: BSc. Bioveterinary Science; Lincoln University.

Research interests

Domestic cats are the most commonly owned companion animal (pet) and also the most likely to be abandoned or born stray. This issue gives rise to a large number of questions for which there are few easy answers. The fact that cats are also problematic in terms of their impact upon wildlife further compounds the issues around cat population management. Cat management often results in conflicting information depending on whether the individual providing the information is focussed on the welfare of the cat cat or its impact on other animals.My research has sought to explore how we keep cats and how our concern for cats is modified by our perceptions of their 'wildness'. In doing so it has led me to work with teams to explore mechanisms by which we can humanely control the cat population whilst simultaneously protecting vulnerable ecologies.I'm particularly interested in how professional bodies, such as veterinary associations, can promote positive ownership practices for cats. This includes how elective surgeries (such as early neutering) are perceived by stakeholders and impact on the cat.Of course it's not all cats, historically I have been involved in studies on pig aggression at mixing during routine farm management as well as applying my interest in animal population management to the issues of free-roaming dogs in the pacific island nation of Samoa.

Key publications are highlighted

Thomas JB, Adams NJ & Farnworth MJ 2017 'Characteristics of ex-racing greyhounds in New Zealand and their impact on re-homing' Animal Welfare 26, (3) 345-354 , DOI PEARL
Packer RMA, Murphy D & Farnworth MJ 2017 'Purchasing popular purebreds: investigating the influence of breed-type on the pre-purchase motivations and behaviour of dog owners' Animal Welfare 26, (2) 191-201 , DOI PEARL
Kikillus KH, Chambers GK, Farnworth MJ & Hare KM 2017 'Research challenges and conservation implications for urban cat management in New Zealand' Pacific Conservation Biology 23, (1) 15-15 , DOI PEARL
Buckley B, Farnworth MJ & Whalley G 2016 'Echocardiography service provision in New Zealand: The implications of capacity modelling for the cardiac sonographer workforce' N Z Med J 129, (1428) 17-25 Author Site
Desforges EJ, Moesta A & Farnworth MJ 2016 'Effect of a shelf-furnished screen on space utilisation and socialbehaviour of indoor group-housed cats (Felis silvestris catus)' applied animal behaviour science PEARL
Farnworth MJ, Chen R, Packer RMA, Caney SMA & Gunn-Moore DA 2016 'Flat Feline Faces: Is Brachycephaly Associated with Respiratory Abnormalities in the Domestic Cat (Felis catus)?' PLOS ONE 11, (8) e0161777-e0161777 , DOI PEARL
Medina FM, Nogales M, Farnworth MJ & Bonnaud E 2016 'Human-cat relationship in an oceanic biosphere reserve: The case of La Palma Island, Canary archipelago' Journal for Nature Conservation 34, 8-14 , DOI PEARL
Barnes E & Farnworth MJ 2016 'Perceptions of responsibility and capability for treating wildlife casualties in UK veterinary practices' Veterinary Record vetrec-2016-104052-vetrec-2016-104052 , DOI PEARL
Harrod M, Keown AJ & Farnworth MJ 2016 'Use and perception of collars for companion cats in New Zealand' New Zealand Veterinary Journal 64, (2) 121-124 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Barrett LA, Adams NJ, Beausoleil NJ, Weidgraaf K, Hekman M, Chambers JP, Thomas DG, Waran NK & Stafford KJ 2015 'Assessment of a carbon dioxide laser for the measurement of thermal nociceptive thresholds following intramuscular administration of analgesic drugs in pain-free female cats' Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia 42, (6) 638-647 , DOI PEARL
Farnworth MJ 2015 'Cats have many lives: Applying behaviour to explore the cat-human relationship' Applied Animal Behaviour Science 173, 1-2 , DOI
Aguilar GD, Farnworth MJ & Winder L 2015 'Mapping the stray domestic cat (Felis catus) population in New Zealand: Species distribution modelling with a climate change scenario and implications for protected areas' Applied Geography 63, 146-154 , DOI PEARL
Buckley BA, Poppe K, Farnworth MJ & Whalley G 2015 'Regional differences in echocardiography provision in New Zealand--results from the 2013 SCANZ Workforce Survey' N Z Med J 128, (1408) 47-55 Author Site
Farrow T, Keown AJ & Farnworth MJ 2014 'An exploration of attitudes towards pedigree dogs and their disorders as expressed by a sample of companion animal veterinarians in New Zealand' New Zealand Veterinary Journal 62, (5) 267-273 , DOI
Beckman M, Hill K, Farnworth M, Bolwell C, Bridges J & Acke E 2014 'Tourists’ Perceptions of the Free-Roaming Dog Population in Samoa' Animals 4, (4) 599-611 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Watson H & Adams NJ 2014 'Understanding Attitudes Toward the Control of Nonnative Wild and Feral Mammals: Similarities and Differences in the Opinions of the General Public, Animal Protectionists, and Conservationists in New Zealand (Aotearoa)' Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 17, (1) 1-17 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Adams NJ, Keown AJ, Waran NK & Stafford KJ 2014 'Veterinary provision of analgesia for domestic cats ( Felis catus ) undergoing gonadectomy: a comparison of samples from New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom' New Zealand Veterinary Journal 62, (3) 117-122 , DOI
Muir R, Keown AJ, Adams NJ & Farnworth MJ 2013 'Attitudes towards catch-and-release recreational angling, angling practices and perceptions of pain and welfare in fish in New Zealand' Animal Welfare 22, (3) 323-329 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Barrett LA, Adams NJ, Beausoleil NJ, Hekman M, Thomas DG, Waran NK & Stafford KJ 2013 'Body weight affects behavioural indication of thermal nociceptive threshold in adult domestic cats (Felis catus)' Applied Animal Behaviour Science 149, (1-4) 30-35 , DOI
Aguilar GD & Farnworth MJ 2013 'Distribution characteristics of unmanaged cat colonies over a 20 year period in Auckland, New Zealand' Applied Geography 37, 160-167 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Beausoleil NJ, Adams NJ, Barrett LA, Stevenson M, Thomas DG, Waterland MR, Waran NK & Stafford KJ 2013 'Validating the use of a carbon dioxide laser for assessing nociceptive thresholds in adult domestic cats (Felis catus)' Applied Animal Behaviour Science 143, (2-4) 104-109 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Adams NJ, Seksel K, Waran NK, Beausoleil NJ & Stafford KJ 2013 'Veterinary attitudes towards pre-pubertal gonadectomy of cats: a comparison of samples from New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom' New Zealand Veterinary Journal 61, (4) 226-233 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Blaszak KA, Hiby EF & Waran NK 2012 'Incidence of dog bites and public attitudes towards dog care and management in Samoa' Animal Welfare 21, (4) 477-486 , DOI
Aguilar GD & Farnworth MJ 2012 'Stray cats in Auckland, New Zealand: Discovering geographic information for exploratory spatial analysis' Applied Geography 34, 230-238 , DOI
Keown AJ, Farnworth MJ & Adams NJ 2011 'Attitudes towards perception and management of pain in rabbits and guinea pigs by a sample of veterinarians in New Zealand' New Zealand Veterinary Journal 59, (6) 305-310 , DOI
Adams NJ, Farnworth MJ, Rickett J, Parker KA & Cockrem JF 2011 'Behavioural and corticosterone responses to capture and confinement of wild blackbirds (Turdus merula)' Applied Animal Behaviour Science 134, (3-4) 246-255 , DOI
Turner SP, Farnworth MJ, Mendl M, Erhard HW & Lawrence AB 2011 'Evidence for residence-induced enhancement of aggressiveness in the non-territorial pig' Applied Animal Behaviour Science 130, (1-2) 10-19 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Walker JK, Schweizer KA, Chuang C-L, Guild S-J, Barrett CJ, Leach MC & Waran NK 2011 'Potential behavioural indicators of post-operative pain in male laboratory rabbits following abdominal surgery' ANIMAL WELFARE 20, (2) 225-237 Author Site
Farnworth MJ, Campbell J & Adams NJ 2011 'What's in a Name? Perceptions of Stray and Feral Cat Welfare and Control in Aotearoa, New Zealand' Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 14, (1) 59-74 , DOI
Dale AR, Walker JK, Farnworth MJ, Morrissey SV & Waran NK 2010 'A survey of owners' perceptions of fear of fireworks in a sample of dogs and cats in New Zealand' New Zealand Veterinary Journal 58, (6) 286-291 , DOI
Farnworth MJ, Campbell J & Adams NJ 2010 'Public awareness in New Zealand of animal welfare legislation relating to cats' New Zealand Veterinary Journal 58, (4) 213-217 , DOI
Walker J, Dale A, Waran N, Clarke N, Farnworth M & Wemelsfelder F 2010 'The assessment of emotional expression in dogs using a Free Choice Profiling methodology' ANIMAL WELFARE 19, (1) 75-84 Author Site
Farnworth MJ, Dye NG & Keown N 2010 'The Legal Status of Cats in New Zealand: A Perspective on the Welfare of Companion, Stray, and Feral Domestic Cats ( Felis catus )' Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 13, (2) 180-188 , DOI
McKay SA, Farnworth MJ & Waran NK 2009 'Current Attitudes Toward, and Incidence of, Sterilization of Cats and Dogs by Caregivers (Owners) in Auckland, New Zealand' Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 12, (4) 331-344 , DOI
Turner SP, Roehe R, Mekkawy W, Farnworth MJ, Knap PW & Lawrence AB 2008 'Bayesian Analysis of Genetic Associations of Skin Lesions and Behavioural Traits to Identify Genetic Components of Individual Aggressiveness in Pigs' Behavior Genetics 38, (1) 67-75 , DOI
Sumner BEH, D’Eath RB, Farnworth MJ, Robson S, Russell JA, Lawrence AB & Jarvis S 2008 'Early weaning results in less active behaviour, accompanied by lower 5-HT1A and higher 5-HT2A receptor mRNA expression in specific brain regions of female pigs' Psychoneuroendocrinology 33, (8) 1077-1092 , DOI
Waran NK, Clarke N & Farnworth M 2008 'The effects of weaning on the domestic horse (Equus caballus)' Applied Animal Behaviour Science 110, (1-2) 42-57 , DOI
Turner SP, White IMS, Brotherstone S, Farnworth MJ, Knap PW, Penny P, Mendl M & Lawrence AB 2006 'Heritability of post-mixing aggressiveness in grower-stage pigs and its relationship with production traits' Animal Science 82, (05) 615-615 , DOI
Patterson-Kane EG & Farnworth MJ 2006 'Noise Exposure, Music, and Animals in the Laboratory: A Commentary Based on Laboratory Animal Refinement and Enrichment Forum (LAREF) Discussions' Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 9, (4) 327-332 , DOI
Turner SP, Farnworth MJ, White IMS, Brotherstone S, Mendl M, Knap P, Penny P & Lawrence AB 2006 'The accumulation of skin lesions and their use as a predictor of individual aggressiveness in pigs' Applied Animal Behaviour Science 96, (3-4) 245-259 , DOI