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Derek Haley

Associate Professor   |   MSc (Guelph), PhD (Saskatchewan)


Having joined the OVC in 2009, Dr. Haley leads a research program in applied ethology and animal welfare science, while also teaching veterinary students about these subjects. The goal of his research program is to improve our knowledge and understanding of the behavioural biology of farm animals, which will allow us to improve the ways we handle, manage, and care for them. Progress in these areas will also help us to improve the health, well-being, and productivity of the animals, and enhance our appreciation of the utility of animal behaviour studies for investigating questions about what animals experience.

Research Interests

  • Weaning stress
  • The behaviour of beef cattle and dairy cattle
  • Maternal and neonatal behaviour
  • Social bonds / attachments between animals
  • Animal welfare


  • VETM*3430 Clinical Medicine I
  • VETM*3400 Health Management I
  • VETM*3410 Health Management II (Co-coordinator with L. Niel, Population Medicine)
  • VETM*3220 Art of Veterinary Medicine II
  • DVM Phase IV Dairy Cattle Welfare rotation (Co-coordinator with T. Duffield, Population Medicine)
  • ANSC*4230 Challenges and Opportunities in Animal Production II: Practical Animal Welfare Assessment (Co-coordinator with T. Widowski, Animal Biosciences)


Professional Experience & Honours

  • Steering Committee, Campbell Centre for the Study of Animal Welfare (2007-present)
  • International Society for Applied Ethology, Member (1996-present)
  • Assistant Professor, Applied Ethology & Animal Welfare, University of Alberta (2007-2009)
  • Provincial Livestock Welfare Specialist, Alberta Agriculture (2003-2007)
  • Doctoral student, Western College of Veterinary Medicine (2000-2003)
  • Research Assistant, Applied Ethology & Animal Welfare, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (1997-2000)


Selected Publications

  • Villettaz Robichaud, M., Pearl, D, Godden, S., LeBlanc, S., Haley, D. (IN PRESS) Systematic Early Obstetrical Assistance at Calving: I) Effects on Dairy Calves’ Stillbirth, Vigor, and Passive Immunity Transfer, Journal of Dairy Science, (Accepted 17-Sep-2016.)

  • Villettaz Robichaud, M., Pearl, D, Godden, S., Rushen, J., LeBlanc, S., Haley, D. (IN PRESS) Systematic Early Obstetrical Assistance at Calving: II) Effects on Dairy Heiger Calves' Growth, Health, and survival to Weaning, Journal of Dairy Science, (Accepted 17-Sep-2016.)
  • Winder, C, LeBlanc, S, Haley, D, Lissemore, K, Godkin, A, Duffield, T (2016) Practices for the disbudding and dehorning of dairy calves by veterinarians and dairy producers in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Dairy Science, 99:10161–10173.
  • Merkies, K, DuBois, C, Marshall, K, Parois, S, Graham, L, Haley, D (2016) A two-stage method to approach weaning stress in horses using a physical barrier to prevent nursing, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 183:68-76.

  • Nash, C, Kelton, D, DeVries, T, Vasseur, E, Coe, J, Zaffino Heyerhoff, J, Bouffard, V, Pellerin, D, Rushen, J, de Passillé, AM, Haley, D (2016) Prevalence of and risk factors for hock and knee injuries on dairy cows in tiestall housing in Canada, Journal of Dairy Science, 99:6494-6506.

  • Ross, M, Widowski, T, Haley, D (2016) The effects of feeding space on the behavioural responses of cattle during rest periods offered as part of long-distance transportation, Animal Welfare, 25:217-225.
  • Villettaz Robichaud M, de Passillé AM, Pearl D, LeBlanc S, Godden S, Pellerin D, Vasseur E, Rushen J, Haley, D (2016) Calving management practices on Canadian dairy farms: Prevalence of practices. Journal of Dairy Science, 99:2391-2404.
  • Solano L, Barkema H, Pajor E, Mason S, LeBlanc S, Nash C, Haley D, Pellerin D, Rushen J, de Passillé AM, Vasseur E, Orsel K. (2016) Associations between lying behavior and lameness in Canadian Holstein-Friesian cows housed in freestall barns. Journal of Dairy Science, 99:2086-2101.
  • Charlton G, Bouffard V, Gibbons J, Vasseur, E, Haley, D, Pellerin, D, Rushen, J, de Passillé AM (2016) Can automated measures of lying time help assess lameness and leg lesions on tie-stall dairy farms? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 175:14-22.
  • Overvest M, Bergeron R, Haley, D, DeVries T. (2016) Effect of feed type and method of presentation on feeding behavior, intake, and growth of dairy calves fed a high level of milk. Journal of Dairy Science, 99:317-327.
  • Solano L, Barkema H, Pajor E, Mason S, LeBlanc S, Zaffino Heyerhoff J, Nash C, Haley, D, Vasseur E, Pellerin D, Rushen J, de Passillé AM, Orsel K. (2015) Prevalence of lameness and associated risk factors in Canadian Holstein-Friesian cows housed in freestall barns. Journal of Dairy Science, 98:6978-6991.
  • Villettaz Robichaud, M, Godden, S, Haines, D, Haley, D, Pearl, D (2014). Addition of gut active carbohydrates to colostrum replacer does not improve passive 10 Transfer of Immunoglobulin G in Holstein dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 97:5700-5708.
  • Murray, C., Windeyer, C, Duffield, T, Haley, D, Pearl, D, Waalderbos, K, Leslie, K (2014). Associations of serum haptoglobin in newborn dairy calves with health, growth, and mortality up to 4 months of age. Journal of Dairy Science, 97:7844-7855.
  • Flint, H, Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K, Bateman, K, Haley, D (2014). Characteristics of loads of cattle stopping for feed, water and rest during long-distance transport in Canada. Animal, 4:62-81.
  • Zaffino-Heyerhoff, J, LeBlanc, S, DeVries, T, Nash, C, Gibbons, J, Orsel, K, Barkema, H, Solno, L, Rushen, J, de Passille, AM, Haley, D (2014). Prevalence of and factors associated with hock, knee, and neck injuries on dairy cows in freestall housing in Canada. Journal of Dairy Science, 97:173-184.
  • Charlton, G, Haley, D, Rushen, J, de Passille, AM (2014). Stocking density, milking duration, and lying times of lactating cows on Canadian freestall dairy farms. Journal of Dairy Science, 97:2694-2700.
  • Gibbons, J, Haley, D, Higginson Cutler, J, Nash, C, Zaffino-Heyerhoff, J, Pellerin, D, Adam, S, Fournier, A, de Passille, AM, Rushen, J, Vasseur, E (2014). Technical note: A comparison of 2 methods of assessing lameness prevalence in tiestall herds. Journal of Dairy Science, 97:350-353.
  • Dawson, L, Buob, M, Haley, D, Miller, S, Stryker, J, Quinton, M, Mason, G (2013). Providing elevated 'getaway bunks' to nursing mink dams improves their health and welfare. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147:224-234.
  • Buob, M, Meagher, R, Dawson, L, Palme, R, Haley, D, Mason, G (2013). Providing 'get-away bunks' and other enrichments to primiparous adult female mink improves their reproductive productivity. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147:94-104.
  • Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K, Sha, M, Church, J, Haley, D, Janzen, K, Truong, G, Atkins, R, Crowe, T (2012). A comparison of commonly used and novel electronic techniques for evaluating cattle temperament. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 92:21-31.
  • Vasseur, E, Rushen, J, Haley, D, de Passille, AM (2012). Sampling cows to assess lying time for on-farm animal welfare assessment. Journal of Dairy Science, 95:4968-4977.
  • Fierheller, E, Caulkett, N, Haley, D, Florence, D, Doepel, L (2012). Short communication: Onset, duration and efficacy of four methods of local anesthesia of the horn bud in calves. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia, 39:431-435.
  • Cyples, J, Fitzpatrick, C, Leslie, K, DeVries, T, Haley, D, Chapinal, N (2012). Short communication: The effects of experimentally induced Escherichia coli clinical mastitis on lying behavior of dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 95:2571-2575.
  • Gonzalez, L, Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K, Caulkett, N, Janzen, E, McAllister, T, Fierheller, E, Schaefer, A, Haley, D, Stookey, J, Hendrick, S. (2010). Pain mitigation after band castration of beef calves and its effects on performance, behavior, Escherichia coli, and salivary cortisol. Journal of Animal Science, 88:802-810.
  • Stewart, M, Schaefer, A, Haley, D, Colyn, J., Cook, N, Stafford, K, Webster, J (2008). Infrared thermography as a non-invasive method for detecting fear-related responses of cattle to different handling procedures. Animal Welfare, 17:387-393.
  • Schwartzkopf-Genswein, K, Haley, D, Church, S, Woods, J, & O’Byrne T (2008). An education and training program for livestock transporters in Canada. Vet Italiana, 44:273-281.
  • Rushen, J, Haley, D, de Passillé, AM (2007). The effects of softer flooring in tie-stalls on resting behaviour and leg injuries of lactating cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 90:3647-3651.
  • Haley, D, Bailey, D, Stookey, J (2005). The effects of weaning beef calves in two stages on their behaviour and growth rate. Journal of Animal Science, 83:2205-2214.
  • Mitchell, K, Stookey, J, Laturnas, D, Watts, J, Haley, D,  Hudye, T. (2004). The effects of blindfolding on behaviour and heart rate in beef cattle during restraint. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 85:233-245.
  • Haley, D, Rushen, J, de Passillé, AM. (2001). Assessing cow comfort: effects of two floor types and two stall-front designs on the behaviour of lactating dairy cows. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 71:105-117.
  • Haley, D, Rushen, J, de Passillé, AM (2000). Behavioural indicators of cow comfort: Activity and resting behaviour in two types of stalls. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, 80:257-263.
  • Haley, D, Rushen, J, Duncan, I, Widowski, T, de Passillé, AM (1998). Butting by calves (Bos taurus) and rate of milk flow. Animal  Behaviour, 6:1545-1551.
  • Haley, D, Rushen, J, Duncan, I, Widowski, T, de Passillé, AM (1998). Effects of resistance to milk flow and the provision of hay on non-nutritive sucking by dairy calves. Journal of Dairy Science, 81:2165-2172.

Search PubMed for additional publications by Dr. Haley.