Browsing by Subject "WELFARE"

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  • Tarkiainen, Laura (2020)
    This article provides a rhetorical discourse analysis of constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness. Data consist of transcripts from Finnish parliament members debating the ‘Activation Model for Unemployment Security’, from December 2017. In the analysis, three discursive constructions of unemployed people’s deservingness were identified: an ‘effortful citizen lacking control’, a ‘needy citizen deserving the welfare state’s reciprocal acts’ and an ‘undeserving freeloader in need of an attitude adjustment’. Analysis focuses on how deservingness and undeservingness are rhetorically accomplished and treated as factual in parliament members’ accounts. The analysis pays particular attention to the question of how speakers build factuality through the management of categories, extreme case formulations, ‘truth talk’ and maximisation and minimisation strategies. The results reflect the negotiated nature of deservingness as well as varying constructions of unemployed people’s responsibility in the contemporary Nordic welfare state context.
  • Norring, Marianna; Valros, Anna Elisabet; Bergman, Paula Susanna; Marchant-Forde, Jeremy; Heinonen, Mari Leena (2019)
    Group housing of gestating sows benefits their welfare by allowing them freedom of movement and the opportunity for social interaction. However, social life could also bring disadvantages for individuals who receive direct aggression or are displaced from the feeder. The aim of this study was to investigate associations between social behaviour, body condition and live weight. Gestating sows (n=298) were investigated on a commercial farm. Sows were housed in mixed parity groups where two single space, ad libitum trough feeders served 12 animals. Sows were weighed, body condition scored and had their back fat layer measured at mixing, 4 weeks after insemination and again before farrowing. Social status was estimated based on the numbers of won and lost agonistic interactions at mixing and at the end of gestation. In addition, tear staining was scored before the farrowing and reproductive performance data were collected. With the aid of video recordings, 100 to 150 interactions per group were observed. Winning percentage at mixing and at the end of gestation were associated (P
  • Nissinen, Niina-Maria; Gissler, Mika; Sarkola, Taisto; Kahila, Hanna; Autti-Rämö, Ilona; Koponen, Anne M. (2021)
    Introduction: The dual impact of prenatal substance exposure (i.e. alcohol/drugs) and adverse postnatal caregiving environment on offspring secondary education completion is an understudied research area. The aim was to investigate the influence of childhood adversities, out-of home care, and offspring's mental and/or behavioural disorders on secondary education completion among prenatally exposed offspring in comparison to matched unexposed offspring. Methods: This is a longitudinal register-based matched cohort study in Finland including offspring with a history of prenatal substance exposure and a matched unexposed cohort. The study sample included 283 exposed and 820 unexposed offspring aged 18-23 years. Results: The results showed a time lag in secondary education completion and lower educational attainment overall among exposed compared with unexposed (37.8% vs. 51.0%, respectively). The results from the multivariate logistic regression models showed that the differences in the secondary education completion between exposed and unexposed were diminished in the presence of covariates. A cumulative childhood adversity score and out-of-home care were not associated with secondary education completion in the multivariate models, whereas the different domains of offspring's mental and/or behavioural disorders including psychiatric disorders (AOR 0.65, 95% CI 0.45-0.96), neuropsychological disorders (AOR 0.35, 95% CI 0.23-0.54) and dual psychiatric and neuropsychological disorder (AOR 0.29, 95% CI 0.18-0.48) showed an independent negative effect on secondary education completion. Conclusions: Inferior educational outcomes may not be directly linked with prenatal substance exposure but may rather reflect the extent of evolving offspring's mental and/or behavioural disorders over time influenced by childhood adversities.
  • Heinonen, Mari; Välimäki, Elina; Laakkonen, Anne-Maija; Toppari, Ina; Vugts, Johannes; Fabrega, Emma; Valros, Anna (2021)
    The prevalence of tail lesions evaluated at the slaughterhouse varies considerably between herds. These lesions result mainly from tail biting, a harmful behavior with multifactorial origin. This study sought to investigate if a batchwise inspection of tails at slaughterhouse could be a useful method to estimate the animal welfare situation in finishing pig herds, and if so, what type and detail of tail scoring such an inspection should utilize. We investigated the distribution of different types of tail lesions and how well their scoring at slaughterhouse was associated with the situation recorded on-farm by a veterinarian as part of routine herd health visits. We also wanted to determine if animal welfare-related herd-level parameters, recorded by herd veterinarians during herd health visits, are associated with tail scoring at the slaughterhouse. A total of 10,517 pigtails from 84 herds were scored for this study. Herd data were collected from the national health classification register for pig farms in Finland and also included annual herd production quality data collected by the slaughterhouse. The scores of the tails varied considerably between the herds. On average, 48.1% (sd = 19.3) of the tails with an average length of 30.4 cm (sd = 2.7) were fully intact, 37.3% (13.9) had healed (length = 26.4, sd = 5.1 cm), 12.4% (9.0) (length = 28.9, sd = 4.3 cm) had minor acute wounds, and 2.3% (2.1) (length = 24.2, sd = 6.0 cm) had major acute wounds. Proportions of different tail lesions at slaughterhouse were associated with or tended to be associated with the following herd-level parameters in regression models: use of wood as enrichment (p < 0.1), one health parameter (leg problems other than arthritis, p < 0.05), and long-term animal welfare estimate (annual mortality, p < 0.05). Detailed tail evaluation at the slaughterhouse shows potential in estimating the tail lesions and long-term welfare level on the farm. By recording only one type of tail condition (such as tails with major acute lesions) at the slaughterhouse, it is not possible to estimate the total tail lesion situation in the herds before slaughter. A more detailed scoring similar to the one used in this trial is recommended.
  • Wallace, Emma K.; Herrelko, Elizabeth S.; Koski, Sonja; Vick, Sarah-Jane; Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M.; Slocombe, Katie E. (2019)
    The unique challenges faced by animals living in zoos can lead to the production of anxiety-related behaviours. In this study we aimed to understand what specific factors may cause chimpanzees to display these behaviours. In non-human primates, displacement behaviours, such as self-scratching and yawning, are considered markers of anxiety and stress, and Regurgitation and Reingestion (R/R) is considered an abnormal behaviour with negative consequences for physical health. We examined the possible triggers of R/R, scratching, and yawning in a group of zoo-housed chimpanzees and followed this up with an analysis of long-term data to examine further aspects of R/R behaviour. In the first study we conducted focal observations on 18 adult chimpanzees at Edinburgh Zoo, UK, in addition to all occurrence sampling of visitors using flash photography, screaming and banging on the glass in the exhibit. 158 h of data were analysed and Generalised Linear Mixed Models revealed that yawning was significantly more likely if there was a long period of time since the last feed and when there were moderate numbers of visitors in the zoo. There were trends that yawning was more likely to occur if children screamed and that scratching was more likely to occur if visitors used flash photography. R/R occurred most often within 40 min of a feed, but was not affected by the inter-feed interval preceding that feed, positive or negative social interactions, or visitor numbers or behaviour. As there was no obvious daily trigger for R/R, an analysis of long-term data (2009 to 2015) was conducted to investigate if social or dietary factors affected rates of R/R over a larger timescale. It was found that R/R rates in the months before a significant diet change were not different from R/R rates in the months after, but it was found that R/R rates decreased over the five-year period. Lastly, we found no evidence that the introduction of individuals engaging in R/R lead to resident chimpanzees habitually adopting the behaviour, despite considerable opportunities to observe it. These findings have implications for welfare interventions aimed to reduce R/R and/or anxiety behaviours in captive populations and for the translocation of individuals that are known to engage in R/R between groups.
  • Yun, J.; Han, T.; Bjorkman, S.; Nysten, M.; Hasan, S.; Valros, A.; Oliviero, C.; Kim, Y.; Peltoniemi, O. (2019)
    The present study aimed to identify the factors that affect immediate (within 24 h after farrowing onset) postnatal piglet mortality in litters with hyperprolific sows, and investigate their associations with behaviour of postpartum sows in two different farrowing housing systems. A total of 30 sows were housed in: (1) CRATE (n=15): the farrowing crate closed (0.80x2.20 m) within a pen (2.50x1.70 m), and (2) OPEN (n=15): the farrowing crate open (0.80x2.20x1.80 m) within a pen (2.50x2.40 m) with a provision of 20 ls of hay in a rack. A total of 518 live born piglets, produced from the 30 sows, were used for data analyses during the first 24 h after the onset of parturition (T24). Behavioural observations of the sows were assessed via video analyses during T24. Total and crushed piglet mortality rates were higher in OPEN compared with CRATE (P
  • Ojala, Eeva A.; Kurkilahti, Mika; Hovland, Anne Lene; Palme, Rupert; Mononen, Jaakko (2021)
    Simple Summary The measurement of faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) is increasingly used to monitor physiological stress responses in different animal species. Before this method is applied in coming stress- and welfare-related studies of farmed blue foxes (Vulpes lagopus), a species-specific validation is first required. In the current study, a 5 alpha-pregnane-3ss,11ss,21-triol-20-one enzyme immunoassay was found suited to measure FCMs and thus hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in farmed blue foxes. FCMs can therefore serve as a valid indicator of stress in future welfare studies of blue foxes. Welfare studies of blue foxes would benefit from a measurement of faecal cortisol metabolites (FCMs) as a non-invasive, physiological stress parameter reflecting hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Before implementation, a species-specific validation of such a method is required. Therefore, we conducted a physiological validation of an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to measure FCMs in blue foxes. Twenty individuals (nine males and eleven females) were injected with synthetic adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and faecal samples were collected every third h for two days. The FCM baseline levels were assessed based on the first sampling day (control period, 144 samples), followed by the ACTH injection and the second day of sampling (treatment period, 122 samples). FCMs were analysed with a 5 alpha-pregnane-3ss,11ss,21-triol-20-one EIA. We compared the estimated mean FCM concentrations of the treatment samples to the baseline average. All samples for the two periods were collected at the same time of the day, which enabled to test the data also with an hourly pairwise comparison. With the two statistical approaches, we tested whether a possible diurnal fluctuation in the FCM concentrations affected the interpretation of the results. Compared to the baseline levels, both approaches showed 2.4-3.2 times higher concentrations on time points sampled 8-14 h after the ACTH injection (p < 0.05). The estimated FCM concentrations also fluctuated slightly within the control period (p < 0.01). Inter-individual variations in FCM levels were marked, which highlights the importance of having a sufficient number of animals in experiments utilising FCMs. The sampling intervals of 3 h enabled forming of informative FCM curves. Taken together, this study proves that FCM analysis with a 5 alpha-pregnane-3ss,11ss,21-triol-20-one EIA is a valid measurement of adrenocortical activity in the farmed blue foxes. Therefore, it can be utilised as a non-invasive stress indicator in future animal welfare studies of the species.
  • Telkanranta, Helena; Valros, Anna (2020)
    In barren environments of commercial farms, pig often redirect their rooting and chewing behaviours at other pigs, which can lead to tail biting. When materials such as straw are provided, the quantity is usually too small to have an effect. The aim of this study was to test whether small provisions of straw and species-relevant point- source objects would have an additive effect in reducing pen-mate manipulation. The animals were 167 gilts with undocked tails on a commercial farm in Finland, housed in 12-m2 pens with partly slatted floors, on average 7 pigs/pen. Liquid feed and 20 g/pig of long straw were provided once a day. The pigs had continuous access to suspended objects: in each control pen (N =12), a 40cm ×10cm ×2 cm piece of commercially sourced wooden board and a 60-cm metal chain, and in each experimental pen (N =12), an 80-cm piece and two 40-cm pieces of birch trees with a diameter of 5–7 cm, harvested 1 month earlier. After 2 months of exposure, frequencies of pig- and object-directed manipulation before and after consuming the feed and straw were recorded by continuous observation on video. Pre-consumption pig-directed manipulation did not differ between the treatments (means: 39.3 events/pig/hour (SD =11.7) in the experimental pens and 42.1 events/pig/hour (SD =12.1) in the control pens; t =-0.6, df =21, P >0.1), but post-consumption manipulation was significantly lower in frequency in the experimental treatment (means: 31.5 events/pig/hour (SD =10.4) in the experimental pens and 41.0 events/ pig/hour (SD =8.6) in the control pens; t =2.4, df =21, P <0.05). Object-directed manipulation was higher in the experimental treatment both pre- and post-consumption (pre-consumption medians: 9.7 events/pig/hour (min =2.0, max =14.9) in the experimental pens and 3.1 events/pig/hour (min =0.9, max =13.7) in the control pens (U =18.5, P <0.01); post-consumption means: 9.2 events/hour/pig (SD =2.7) in the experimental pens and 4.8 events/pig/hour (SD =2.0) in the control pens (t =4.5, df =20, P <0.001). It was concluded that the experimental objects with improved material, quantity, shape and location had an additive effect with straw in reducing pen-mate manipulation, whereas objects ordinarily used on the farm had no beneficial effect. Further research is needed on the effects of the odour, taste and consistency of optimal objects.
  • Törmä, K.; Lunden, J.; Kaukonen, E.; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, M.; Laukkanen-Ninios, R. (2021)
    Meat inspection of broiler chickens (broiler) in the European Union is regulated by common legislation to secure meat safety. However, the legislation is general in nature and proper post-mortem inspection (PMI) of every carcass and visceral organs of broilers is challenging in slaughterhouses (SHs) with a high slaughter line speed. The aim of this study was to investigate the on-site organization and possible differences of the PMI in four Finnish SHs, which slaughter over 99% of broilers in Finland. Our results show that the meat inspector's available inspection time per broiler in the PMI varied between 0.28 and 0.90 s, with the shortest available inspection time in the SH with the highest slaughter line speed and the longest available inspection time in the SH with the slowest line speed. We observed that only part of the total inspection time per broiler could be used for true PMI in most (3/4) SHs, as the meat inspectors also performed other tasks during the PMI. We observed deficiencies in the visual inspection of broiler carcasses; in particular, the proper inspection of all or most of the body cavities was impossible in all SHs during the PMI. Some deficiencies in facilities (e.g. in recording system) were observed. Moreover, lighting properties varied between the SHs and a significant difference between illumination conditions at the first inspection stations in the SHs was observed. This study considered the prerequisites for proper PMI and revealed that the PMI of broilers was not completely uniform in Finland. The results emphasize the need for more precise guidelines and recommendations, especially for inspection time and lighting at inspection stations.
  • Valros, Anna; Barber, Claire (2019)
    Simple Summary Tail biting is a serious behavioural problem in modern pig production which causes both animal welfare challenges and economic losses. The aim of this study was to collect information on the perceptions of farmers on how to best prevent tail biting, and on their attitudes towards tail biting and docking. Further, the aim was to investigate if perceptions are influenced by the specific system of farming, with a focus on different levels of bedding use and different tail docking practices. To achieve the goal, pig producers in the UK were surveyed. The results show that producers rank the importance of preventive measures differently to scientists and other experts. This calls for consideration when communicating with producers, and for further consideration of producer knowledge, which might be based on a more holistic view than that of researchers. The study also shows that the perception of how to best prevent and intervene to avoid tail biting differs between farms of different types, and that these perceptions might be influenced by the farmers' own experiences, which again, might differ between countries and farming systems. Tail biting causes widespread problems both for animal welfare and in the form of economic losses in pig production. This study was performed to better understand the perceptions of farmers on how to best prevent tail biting, and if perceptions are influenced by the specific system of farming, with a focus on different levels of bedding use and docking different proportions of the tail of their pigs. Pig producers in the UK were surveyed on their perceptions of the efficacy of preventive measures and attitudes towards tail biting and docking. In total, 204 responses were included. The results show that producers rank the importance of preventive measures differently to scientists and other experts. This calls for consideration when communicating with producers; and for better integration of knowledge based on practical experiences with scientific results. The study also shows that the perception of how to best avoid tail biting differs between farms of different types, and that these perceptions might be influenced by the farmers ' own experiences-one example being that farms currently using plentiful amounts of bedding also value this more highly as a way to avoid tail biting than those that do not.
  • Bergenheim, Sophy; Klockar Linder, My (2020)
    The aim of this article is to nuance notions of ‘pronatalism’ by applying it as an analytical concept for studying population and family policy Sweden and Finland in the 1940s and 1950s. This endeavour is pursued by analysing the ideologies and practices of three pronatalist non-governmental organisations from Sweden, Finland and Swedish Finland: the Swedish Population and Family Federation (Befolkningsförbundet Svenska Familjevärnet), the Finnish Population and Family Welfare League (Väestöliitto) and the Swedish Population Federation in Finland (Svenska Befolkningsförbundet i Finland, SBF). All three organisations promoted family-friendly policies, emphasised the need for wide-spread population policy education or ‘propaganda’, and framed pronatalist population policy as a collective issue of the nation or ‘people’, yet with different motivations and framings. Väestöliitto and SBF related the so-called population question to an external threat: the Soviet Union that threatened the geopolitical status of Finland, and the pressure of the Finnish-speaking majority, respectively. In addition, SBF saw that the Finland-Swedes were delusional about their demographic and cultural vulnerability and were hence causing their own demise. Familjevärnet, on the other hand, first and foremost connected family and population policy to the furthering of welfare, solidarity and democracy, primarily within Sweden but also transnationally. Respectively, the organisations also framed motherhood slightly differently. Väestöliitto and SBF portrayed procreation as a civic duty and motherhood as the most important role of women. Familjevärnet also viewed motherhood as an important and natural role for women, yet not as an exclusive civic duty. Rather, it emphasised that all citizens had a duty to contribute to a positive demographic development and family-friendly society, either through procreation or by partaking in the cost of bringing up children.
  • EFSA Panel Anim Hlth Welf AHAW; Nielsen, Soren Saxmose; Sihvonen, Liisa Helena (2020)
    Rabbits of different ages may have to be killed on-farm for purposes other than slaughter (where slaughter is defined as killing for human consumption) either individually or on a large scale (e.g. for production reasons or for disease control). The purpose of this opinion was to assess the risks associated to the on-farm killing of rabbits. The processes during on-farm killing that were assessed included handling, stunning and/or killing methods (including restraint). The latter were grouped into four categories: electrical methods, mechanical methods, controlled atmosphere method and lethal injection. In total, 14 hazards were identified and characterised, most of these related to stunning and/or killing. The staff was identified as the origin for all hazards, either due to lack of the appropriate skill sets needed to perform tasks or due to fatigue. Possible corrective and preventive measures were assessed: measures to correct hazards were identified for five hazards and the staff was shown to have a crucial role in prevention. Five welfare consequences of the welfare hazards to which rabbits can be exposed to during on-farm killing were identified: not being dead, consciousness, pain, fear and distress. Welfare consequences and relevant animal-based measures were described. Outcome tables linking hazards, welfare consequences, animal-based measures, origins, preventive and corrective measures were developed for each process. Mitigation measures to minimise welfare consequences are proposed. (C) 2020 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.
  • Haikkola, Lotta (2019)
    Activation policies form the core of employment policies in most OECD countries. They are part of 'active' welfare states and associated neoliberal forms of governance that seek to govern through freedom by producing self-governing and responsible subjectivities. Ethnographies of governmentalities have been used in the research reported in this article to examine if and how such subjectivities are put in practice in street-level encounters in local welfare delivery. Based on an ethnographic research of youth services in the Public Employment Services (PES) in Helsinki, Finland, it is shown that despite the policy focus on active citizenship the street-level practice entails not only liberal ideas of self-governing individuals but also authoritarian measures. What is governed in the meetings is not the young people's selves but their time and behaviour. In the process, the notion of active citizenship is emptied and transformed to mean participation in supervised activities offered by the PES. Such practice also reworks the temporal structures and creates insecure and eventful experience of time for PES clients. In contrast to governing through freedom, the localized interpretation of activation policies represents the authoritarian and paternalistic side of neoliberal governance.
  • Heinonen, Mari; Bergman, Paula; Fredriksson-Ahomaa, Maria; Virtala, Anna-Maija; Munsterhjelm, Camilla; Valros, Anna; Oliviero, Claudio; Peltoniemi, Olli; Hälli, Outi (2018)
    Sow meat inspection (MI) and mortality data are important sources of information for use in herd health work. This observational study examined whether MI results of sows associate with sow mortality in Finnish sow herds. We also described some MI findings of sows to create basic references in order to encourage their use in herd health work. The project was widely advertised to farmers of sow herds and practicing veterinarians. Ten herds joined the project voluntarily and 36 other herds after they were contacted by the researchers. MI data (carcass weight, lean meat percentage, arthritis, abscesses, liver condemnations, milk spots, organ condemnations, pleuritis, pneumonia, shoulder ulcers, tail biting, whole carcass condemnations, partial carcass condemnations and kg of meat condemned) were made available by the three largest slaughterhouses in Finland, and sow mortality data were obtained from the National Swine Herd Register for 39 of the study herds for the year 2014. The mean herd size of participating herds was 529 females with a standard deviation of 479 and mean annual mortality 9.0% +/- 5.2%. As much as 22.8% of the 7437 slaughtered sows had at least one MI finding. Heavy carcasses were less likely to have at least one MI finding. A median (range) of 1.8% (0-7.2) and 11.8% (0-34.6) of the sows were recorded to have a whole and partial carcass condemnation, respectively. The most common MI findings were abscesses (5.7%, 0-16.3), shoulder ulcers (3.6%, 0-22.9) and arthritis (2.1%, 0-13.3). In individual carcasses, abscesses were associated with arthritis, shoulder ulcers and pneumonia, which was indicative that these animals most likely had a systemic infection. Pneumonia findings were associated with pleuritis. At the herd level, the increase of sow mortality by 1% was associated with an increased percentage of slaughtered females with at least one MI finding 0.8% (P = 0.01). If sow mortality increased by 1%, the odds ratio for the herd having more than a median percentage of pleuritis was 1.3 (95% confidence interval; 1.01 - 1.57, P = 0.04) compared to the situation of the herd having less than a median percentage of pleuritis. Also, if sow mortality increased by 1%, the percentage of partial carcass condemnations of females increased by 0.4% (P = 0.08). These results suggest that high mortality was associated with an increase of some MI findings. MI results of sows should be used in herd health follow-up of sow health.
  • Larsen, M. L.; Gustafsson, A.; Marchant-Forde, J. N.; Valros, A. (2019)
    Tear staining (TS) in the pig has been related to different stressors and may be a useful tool for assessing animal welfare on farm. The aim of the current study was to investigate TS across the finisher period and its possible relation to age, growth, sex and experimentally induced stressors. The study included 80 finisher pens divided between three batches. Within each batch, the pens either included pigs with docked or undocked tails, had straw provided (150 g/pig/day) or not and had a low (1.21 m2/pig, 11 pigs) or high stocking density (0.73 m2/pig, 18 pigs). Tear staining (scores 1 to 4; from smaller to larger tear stain area, respectively) and tail damage were scored on each individual pig three times per week over the 9-week study period, and the individual maximum TS score within each week was chosen for further analysis. Data were analysed using logistic regression separately for each of the four possible TS score levels. The TS scores 1 and 2 decreased with weeks into the study period and were negatively related to the average daily gain (ADG) of the pigs, whereas the TS score 4 increased with weeks into the study period and was positively related to ADG. None of the TS scores differed between females and castrated males, and neither straw provision nor lowering the stocking density affected the TS scores. However, the TS score 1 decreased the last week before an event of tail damage (at least one pig in the pen with a bleeding tail wound), whereas the TS score 4 increased. The results of the current study advocates for a relation between TS and the factors such as age, growth and stress in the pig, while no relation was found between TS and the environmental factors straw provision and lowered stocking density. The relations to age and growth are important to take into consideration if using TS as a welfare assessment measure in the pig in the future.
  • Fox, Jonathan; Myrskyla, Mikko (2015)
    BACKGROUND During the 1920s and early 1930s, U. S. fertility declined overall but with large regional variations. Changes in foreign born populations explain only part of this. Differences in public health and poverty relief programs may further help explain these declines because of their potential impact on fertility determinants, in particular on breastfeeding and child mortality. OBJECTIVE We investigate whether public health investments in child health (conservation of child life programs) and poverty relief (outdoor care of poor or charity for children and mothers) affected fertility for U. S. cities over 100,000 persons between 1923 and 1932. METHODS We analyze data covering 64 cities between 1923-1932 that include birth information from the U. S. Birth, Stillbirth and Infant Mortality Statistics volumes and city financial information from the Financial Statistics of Cities volumes. Time and city fixed-effects models are used to identify the impact of public investments on fertility. RESULTS Fixed effects estimates indicating the conservation of child life programs explain about 10 % of the fertility change between 1923 and 1932. Outdoor care of poor did not seem to be related to fertility. Investments in charity for children and mothers were associated with fertility increases, possibly because poorer areas experienced relative increases in both higher fertility and charitable spending. CONCLUSIONS Public spending on child health was strongly related to decreasing fertility in the U. S. during the 1920s, possibly because of increased breastfeeding and decreased child mortality. This leads to a better understanding of the 1920s fertility decline and highlights how public policy may affect fertility.