Animal health and welfare

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Animal health and welfare and environmental impact of different husbandry systems in organic pig farming in selected European countries / Gwendolyn Rudolph

Animal health and welfare and environmental impact of different husbandry systems in organic pig farming in selected European countries / Gwendolyn Rudolph

In order to achieve the thesis’ objectives, farm visits with comprehensive tasks were conducted which go partly far beyond the objectives of most other studies focussing on either AHW (e.g. Day et al., 2003, Zurbrigg, 2006, Leeb et al., 2010, Dippel et al., 2014b) or ENV (e.g. Basset-Mens and van der Werf, 2005, Williams et al., 2006, Dolman et al., 2012). Generally, on-farm assessment of animal health and welfare alone may be already challenging, e.g. assessment of animal-based parameters is often time consuming (Andreasen et al., 2013), especially if clinical measures are taken directly on the animals and additionally records on treatments are assessed. Several circumstances have to be taken into account when structuring the farm visits: e.g. behavioural observations should not be conducted close to feeding times and the observers have to be able to assess the animal- based parameters regardless of interfering factors, e.g. disturbances by farm employees. Especially weaning and fattening pigs might move around quickly in the pens, passing from the indoor pen to the outdoor run and vice versa, which makes the assessment challenging. Nevertheless, the observers have to work conscientiously and calm, trying to minimize stressful situations for the pigs, which could result in pigs moving even more around and influencing even AHW parameters, e.g. signs of diarrhoea on the floor might disappear. Well-trained observers adjusting on farm specific circumstances are important, therefore observer training in the present study took mainly place under practical conditions on common organic pig farms. Besides training of animal-based parameters, all data to be collected on farm should be discussed during observer trainings to ensure, that all observers agree on the intention of the data. This was done in the present projects observer trainings ’, additionally a dictionary was established to define/clarify terms to ensure that all assessors correctly interpret the parameters (e.g. calculation of replacement rate, definition of age groups, e.g. gilts).
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Animal health and welfare planning in dairy cattle: effects on animals and farm efficiency / Lukas Tremetsberger

Animal health and welfare planning in dairy cattle: effects on animals and farm efficiency / Lukas Tremetsberger

already existing preventive measures on the farms. Across the 26 intervention farms, Green et al (2007) achieved an equal number of farms that implemented more than two- thirds, between one- and two-thirds, and less than one-third of the measures (such as improvements in post-milking teat disinfection, milking machine function, or detection of mastitis cases) after one year. Using a similar approach, Barker et al (2012) presented recommendations to the farmers participating in a lameness control study. Based on an assessment of the farm and an evaluation of possible risk factors, improvement measures were proposed to the farmers by one of the researchers. The farmers could then either agree, disagree, or state that they were uncertain about implementing the recommended changes. This resulted in an overall level of compliance with the recom- mended measures of 31%. In both studies, advice was always provided by external experts or scientists. Similarly, Main et al (2012) encouraged farmers with respect to taking action in lameness management and potential benefits and barriers of the whole process were discussed. The researchers had a comprehensive overview of good husbandry practice on other farms and used that insight in the discussion. However, a key aspect of animal health and welfare planning is the inclusion of all involved parties in the process of implementation, comprising, eg veterinary surgeons, nutritional consultants, and agricultural advisors. This was taken up by a UK study on dairy heifer lameness (Bell et al 2009) where the unique farmer-veterinarian pair was responsible for agreeing on the lameness action plan and measures that could realistically be implemented. The programme was based on an analysis of hazards and critical control points, and the results were reported on the farms by their regular veterinary surgeons. However, they reported ‘less than
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Improving Animal Health on Organic Dairy Farms: Stakeholder Views on Policy Options

Improving Animal Health on Organic Dairy Farms: Stakeholder Views on Policy Options

Organic livestock farming explicitly aims to achieve high levels of animal health and welfare [ 9 ]. Indeed, the belief that elevated levels of health and welfare are being routinely achieved is an important driver of the consumer purchase of organic livestock products [ 10 , 11 ]. The presumption of the routine achievement of good health and welfare status is also reflected in EU organic regulations. Regulation (EC) 834/2007, for example, requires that animal health and welfare be achieved by meeting animals’ behavioural needs, providing adequate and appropriate housing, providing high quality feed, and implementing good husbandry practices [ 12 ]. Many private organic labels, e.g., Bioland (Germany), KRAV (Sweden), and Bio Cohérence (France), enforce standards above these EU minima [ 13 ]. However, these private organic labels are also limited to standard setting through the specification of resource- and management-based requirements. While improved levels of resource inputs and specified management obligations can provide animals with enhanced opportunities to perform natural behaviours (e.g., grazing on pasture and comfortable resting in bedded areas) and improve affective states (e.g., by reducing painful procedures and providing enriched environments), merely providing more and better inputs does not guarantee improved physiological health. It is unsurprising, then, that animal health has been identified as the primary welfare risk in organic livestock systems [ 14 ]. This state of affairs presents an unmitigated risk to the welfare-friendly image of organic agriculture; a risk that increases with the growth of the sector [ 15 ], and the increasing dominance of organic farmers motivated by economic rather than ideological considerations [ 16 ].
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Expanding the restricted realm of international trade law to animal welfare

Expanding the restricted realm of international trade law to animal welfare

conditions and animal health do not include animal welfare. They only include animal health as a measure for human health. ITL differentiates between ‘Animal HealthandAnimal Welfare’ even though there is a linkage between the two. Put simply, animal health relates to healthy and disease-free meat to serve the purpose of humans. On the other hand, animal welfare means humane production, bearing in mind the welfare of an animal or the way it is farmed (in a painful way or otherwise, addressing the conscientious customers). Additionally, the prevention and control of disease in animal species (Animal Health) contributes significantly to animal welfare. One such instance can be taken from the relationship between the occurrence of zoonotic bacteria in battery cage chickens as opposed to healthy free-range chicken .
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The relationship between animal welfare and economic performance at farm level: A quantitative study of Danish pig producers

The relationship between animal welfare and economic performance at farm level: A quantitative study of Danish pig producers

Only a few studies use empirical data to investigate the relationship between animal welfare and economic performance. These studies and their findings are summarised in Table 1 . Stott et al. ( 2012 ) find a slightly positive relationship between animal welfare scores obtained from expert assessments and gross margin for their small sample of 20 purposely selected extensive sheep farms in Great Britain. Other studies use animal health as a proxy for the animals’ well-being. Jensen et al. ( 2008 ) find a negative relationship between diseases (medical treatments and pathological lesions) and the gross margin of individual finishing boars at a test station. Finally, results based on empirical data from dairy farms in Denmark ( Lawson et al. , 2004a , b ) and Great Britain ( Barnes et al. , 2011 ) are divergent and partly contradicting regarding the relationship between various animal health indicators (e.g. lameness, metabolic disorders, digestive disorders, reproductive disorders) and technical efficiency.
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The sustainability of meat and cured meats in Italy: Nutritional aspect, food safety, environmental impact, animal welfare, circular economy, fight against waste

The sustainability of meat and cured meats in Italy: Nutritional aspect, food safety, environmental impact, animal welfare, circular economy, fight against waste

subject to atten- tion and criticism principally linked to nutritional, eth- ical and environ- mental reasons. To this international debate organisations and stakeholders participate inspired by different motivations: there are animalist and/or environmentalist asso- ciations, research centres, the media, etc. In this context, at least in Italy, the point of view of meat producers has never been in- troduced, who should instead participate in the discussion by providing information, details and objective data useful to correct, where necessary, some positions that are on occasions prejudicial or not complete- ly correct. With this objective, in 2012, the Sustainable Meat project was born, which in uniting the main Associations of producers, has the intent to bring to people’s attention the results of the commitments of the vari- ous operators of the sector offering a point of view for a constructive and transparent confrontation, free from preconceptions and extreme positions, and driven by the desire for scientific and objective analysis. The purpose is not to convince those who for personal reasons choose not to consume meat, but to inform those who include an- imal proteins in their diet, conscious that a balanced consumption of meat is sustaina- ble both for health and for the environment. Analysing the sustainability of meat and cured meats means studying, in the most objective way possible, different topics con- cerning both the consumer and livestock production. For this reason, the contents of this book analyse nutrition, environmental impacts, food safety and animal welfare, economic aspects and food waste.
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Producers' valuation of animal welfare practices: Does herd size matter?

Producers' valuation of animal welfare practices: Does herd size matter?

An increasing number of hogs had a negative influence on the pig producers’ willingness to adopt an outdoor yard and bedding material (Model 3). Conversely, the preferences for the remaining AWS were unaffected by the number of pigs. An outdoor yard had the highest neg- ative coefficient and was therefore the most important attribute for the hog producers’ deci- sion to participate in an animal welfare program (Model 1). This result is underlined by a study by Gocsik et al. (2016), who also found a low preference of pig producers for adopting free-range access. Following Vanhonacker et al. (2008), producers evaluated an outdoor yard as less important for the welfare of animals, although research has shown that outdoor yards extend the space allowance, reduce health problems, allow more time to be spent in motion, and reduce behavioral disorders (Guy et al., 2002). Even though the health of pigs in an out- door yard may be compromised by atmospheric conditions and parasite infections, Bornett et
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Communicational and lobbying power in German farm animal welfare politics

Communicational and lobbying power in German farm animal welfare politics

Despite this diagnosis of a retiring state in the case of FAW (Vogeler, 2019b), some issues especially of legal nature remain in the area of state. This is the case for piglet castration. One aspect of FAW is “Good health” of animals, which includes absence of pain caused by management procedures (Welfare Quality R , 2009). Such a painful management procedure is the castration of male piglets without anaesthesia. Castration is performed in order to avoid bad smelling boar odor of meat from male pigs. In Germany the common practice is to castrate male piglets until the age of seven days without narcotise them. Back in 2012, a change of the Animal Welfare Act prohibited the piglet castration without anaesthesia from 2019 on (Jahn, 2013). But due to uncertainty about acceptance of the alternatives, German parliament extended the deadline for withdrawal from this procedure for two more years (Grunenberg, 2018). The alternatives in question are surgical castration under anaesthesia, immunocastration and boar mast. The first procedure may be performed under full (inhalation or injection) or local anaesthesia (Zöls, 2006, pp. 26-31). Of course it is still a surgical operation. In contrast, immunocastration suppresses the production of the sex hormones responsible for boar taint. The procedure consists of two injections, performed at intervals of at least four weeks. The second vaccination must be given between four and six weeks before slaughter (Candek-Potokar et al., 2015, see). Moreover, scientists recommend this method since it causes less stress for the animals (FLI, 2018). The third alternative requires neither surgical operation nor vaccinations. Instead, boars are fattened to a lower carcass weight than usual and thus are slaughtered earlier. Screening and sorting of carcasses during slaughter process is required here (Candek-Potokar et al., 2015). The question remains, how stakeholder participation affects the final evaluation of these alternatives and thus contributes to a final decision for or against a certain alternative. Thus, our second research question is: Which castration alternative is preferred at the end of a participatory process?
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The relevance of different group sizes to performance, health and welfare in poultry and emotional state in pigs

The relevance of different group sizes to performance, health and welfare in poultry and emotional state in pigs

and eye loss in quail which is an important welfare problem in quail farming. The influence of breeding groups on the aggressive behavior of Japanese quail was investigated by Wechsler and Schmid (1998) who designed an experiment with 4 groups of 5 males and 15 hens and 4 groups of 5 males and 35 hens in a 2 × 2 factorial design and introduced two groups of each composition into the pens at the age of 4 and 6 weeks, respectively. The authors reported that there was no significant effect of group size and age of introduction into the experimental pen on pecking rate and also the interaction between the 2 factors was not significant but there was a trend to lower pecking rates in the newly introduced groups (0.8± 0.5, mean ± SD 4 compared to 3.5 ± 1.9). Since environmental enrichment or environmental modifications can enhances behavioral opportunities and leads to improvement in biological functioning they can be used to improve animal welfare, reduce fear and aggression and change social behavior in poultry husbandry (Gvaryahu et al., 1994; Newberry, 1995). It has been shown that provision of enrichments can increase aggressive interactions among caged laying hens (Reed et al., 1993) therefore it is expected that environmental enrichment may affect social behaviors including grouping behaviors in poultry. Japanese quail as a common laboratory and production species has frequently been the subject of environmental enrichment and social behavior studies. Miller and Mench (2005) indicated that housing type, social housing compare to singleton, affected social proximity preference in Japanese quail.
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Nonprofit financial assessment and research service learning: Evaluating the performance of an animal welfare nonprofit organization

Nonprofit financial assessment and research service learning: Evaluating the performance of an animal welfare nonprofit organization

• Occupational Safety Directives of OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration, 2015 ) • Outbreak Containment Protocol of the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (The University of Florida, 2015 ). It is recommended that the GSHS undertake a project to examine and modify the current system of cost allocations. Analysis of financial statements and tax filings indicated that the current system of cost allocation does not provide the level of transparency required for the reporting of fundraising proceeds and expenses, charitable contributions, medical expenses, and administrative expenses. Further basis for the allocation of income and expenses between the Clinic and the Shelter needs to be examined and a proper driver for the allocation should be determined. Note that in a previous graduate research service learning project conducted by Dr. Maguire’s class with GSHS, the NPO’s current chart of accounts was mapped to the Unified Chart of Accounts (UCOA), which is compatible with multiple nonprofit requirements, including those mandated by the IRS, FASB, and the Office of Management and Budget for federal grant reporting (National Center for Charitable Statistics: Unified Chart of Accounts, 2015 ). Pet Point is fully customizable and is compatible with accounting software that includes the Unified Chart of Accounts (Pet Point, 2015 ).
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Suitability of Slower Growing Commercial Turkey Strains for Organic Husbandry in Terms of Animal Welfare and Performance

Suitability of Slower Growing Commercial Turkey Strains for Organic Husbandry in Terms of Animal Welfare and Performance

Intensive turkey production with fast growing strains is often critically discussed regarding animal welfare problems. Studies evaluating the welfare status of both organic and less intensive selected turkey strains are limited, except in the slightly slower growing Kelly Broad Breast Bronze (Kelly). The aim of this study was to assess the welfare of turkeys from two strains with further decreased growth rate, Hockenhull Large Bronze (HoBr) and Hockenhull Black (HoBl), in comparison to Kelly under commercial organic conditions with 100% organic feed. Altogether 844 non-beak-trimmed male turkeys (274–288 per line) were reared and fattened in three replications with each six groups. On group level, use of resources in the 7, 16, and 25th week of life, mortality and feed conversion were recorded. Each bird was assessed with regard to plumage and skin condition as indicators of agonistic interactions, cannibalism and feather pecking, with regard to leg health, footpad, breast skin condition and, as performance indicators, live and carcass weight, utilization, daily weight gain and weights of valuable meat parts. The significantly slower growing HoBl showed slightly fewer malposition of the legs, reduced injury rates and less breast buttons, but a higher susceptibility to footpad dermatitis than Kelly turkeys. HoBr with a similar growth rate compared to Kelly had slightly more problems concerning walking ability and plumage damage, but also less breast buttons than Kelly turkeys. However, effect sizes were negligible (8 < 0.10), except for the higher occurrence of footpad dermatitis and the reduced number of breast buttons in HoBl with small effect sizes (8 = 0.20–0.24). Use of resources, prevalence of breast blisters and mortality, were not statistically different, although mortality rate was numerically lower in HoBl. Thus, for none of the studied strains clear benefits or disadvantages in terms of the birds’ predisposition for welfare problems could be identified. Overall, prevalences of animal welfare problems were mostly lower than in comparable studies while performances were comparatively high. Therefore, turkeys from the studied strains appear to be suitable for organic rearing and fattening with 100% organic feed, given a good management.
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Animal Welfare and Human Ethics: A Personality Study

Animal Welfare and Human Ethics: A Personality Study

Intensive farming environments keep animals away from daylight and soil and provide only limited living space. Compared to traditional animal hus- bandry, intensive farming requires less human labor and allows farmers to produce more meat and other animal products in shorter time spans and in greater quantity. At first glance, intensive farming therefore seems to be an innovative and efficient way to structure production of animal products. It has even been argued that intensive farming may increase social welfare, as cheaper access to animal products could improve human life (McCarthy and Bennett, 1985). Yet one could ask whether this reading of the term ‘welfare’ is broad enough: first of all, the ecological consequences of industrialized meat production seem worrying (Eisler et al., 2014). Emissions of greenhouse gases, for instance, would likely be substantially lower if animals were held in more appropriate environments, given that the supply of farming land is limited. The same holds for water use. Second, it is at least questionable whether eating animal products improves human health or not, specifically when they make up a large part of people’s diets. 4
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Infant health, cognitive performance and earnings: Evidence from inception of the welfare state in Sweden

Infant health, cognitive performance and earnings: Evidence from inception of the welfare state in Sweden

It is important that we broadly reinforce the findings from Norway that an infant health programme led to higher earnings on average. However, there are several differences in context and approach relative to B¨ utikofer et al. (2019), and the following contributions distinguish this paper. First, we digitised school registers from the 1930s to gain data on individual test scores. It is not uncommon to observe completed years of education, but it is rare to observe test scores and linked them to both an early life intervention, and to future labour market outcomes. Second, we document not just impacts on earnings but also on employment, sector and occupation. This allows us to provide altogether new evidence of the following links in a potential chain of mechanisms: (i) early life health improving school test scores, (ii) test scores as a mechanism linking early life health to later life earnings, (iii) employment and occupation as additional endogenous outcomes that illuminate the pathways running from early life health to higher earnings. Third, we estimate distributional effects for the continuous outcomes, test scores and income, which additionally illuminate mechanisms. Fourth, B¨ utikofer et al. (2019) (and, similarly, Hjort et al. (2017)) analyse nationwide infant care programmes rolled out over decades while ours was a short pioneering trial announced as concluding within two years, and this limited the possible influence of confounders and unobserved trends. Finally, we identify systematic differences in higher education and labour market performance between men and women, which we trace through the four points of the lifecycle for which we have individual linked data. The story we tell is thus very different.
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Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden

Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden

In the first part of this paper, we estimate causal impacts of an intervention targeting infant health on cognitive performance in grades 1 and 4 of primary school. Since we also have records of sickness-related absence from school, we are able to (weakly) differentiate the impacts of contemporaneous from early life health on test scores. Our first contribution is hence to a fairly thin strand of the literature that seeks to link early life health interventions to cognitive attainment. Analysis of health interventions include Chay et al. (2009) who study black-white convergence in test scores as a function of hospital de-segregation in America, Bharadwaj et al. (2013) who document impacts of neonatal care on school test scores in Chile, and Bhalotra and Venkataramani (2013) who investigate impacts of early life exposure to a clean water programme in Mexico on cognitive attainment in middle and late adolescence. Accidental exposure to radiation from the Chernobyl disaster is examined in Almond et al. (2009). Other important studies that analyse impacts of early life health rather than of health interventions or shocks, include Black et al. (2007) and Figlio et al. (2014), who use twin or sibling estimators to identify the impacts of birth weight on later outcomes including cognitive performance in Norway and Florida respectively. Like Figlio et al. (2014), we are able to assess impacts of infant health on cognitive scores at different ages and by the socio-economic characteristics of parents. However, while they analyse impacts of birth weight, we analyse impacts of an intervention. This is important because, as they state, “While we have strong evidence from twin comparison studies that poor initial health conveys a disadvantage in adulthood, we have little information about the potential roles for policy interventions in ameliorating this disadvantage during childhood”; also see Heckman et al. (2014).
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The effects of medicaid expansions and welfare reform on fertility and the health of women and children

The effects of medicaid expansions and welfare reform on fertility and the health of women and children

too has several notable findings. First, the effects of the Medicaid expansions dif- fered significantly by the level of eligibil- ity. Eligibility expansions that occurred in the late 1980s and were targeted at the poorest women resulted in significantly larger declines in the proportion of unin- sured pregnant women than later expan- sions that targeted higher income groups. The differential declines in the propor- tion uninsured are attributable to much smaller relative declines in private insur- ance among the poorest women, which is reasonable given that they were least likely to be covered by private insurance prior to the expansion. However, because the expansions increasingly focused on women from higher income groups who were more at risk of switching from pri- vate insurance, the extent of crowd out grew over time. Indeed, our estimates sug- gest that up to 80 percent of the growth in Medicaid enrollment among women in the highest income eligibility groups came at the expense of private insurance.
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Gesundheit erhalten statt Krankheit kurieren. Tiergesundheit im ökologischen Landbau [Maintain health instead of disease curing - Animal health in organic farming]

Gesundheit erhalten statt Krankheit kurieren. Tiergesundheit im ökologischen Landbau [Maintain health instead of disease curing - Animal health in organic farming]

Die Homöopathie und/oder die Verwendung von Heilkräutern haben im ökologischen Landbau einen hohen Stellenwert und werden heute auch in der konventionellen Tierhaltung intensiv diskuti[r]

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Infant health, cognitive performance and earnings: Evidence from inception of the welfare state in Sweden

Infant health, cognitive performance and earnings: Evidence from inception of the welfare state in Sweden

[Insert Figure 8 about here] [Insert Figure 9 about here] The rapid expansion of the welfare state also provides an explanation for why we only find long-run effects for women in the Swedish context, while B¨ utikofer et al. (2015) find that access to well-child visits significantly impacts later life labour outcomes for both men and women in Norway (and even more so for men). The economic transformation from agriculture to industry and from rural to urban was faster and more fundamental in Sweden compared to Norway and Denmark, leading to a faster development and implementation of the welfare state. While both countries experienced a women-friendly development regarding working conditions over the years, several features of the welfare state advanced later in Norway than in Sweden. For e.g. publicly provided child care was established with substantial increase in subsidies already in the mid 1960s in Sweden and income during maternity leave was compensated for a longer period of time (6 months in comparison to 12 weeks in Norway). Similarly, the growth of married women’s labour participation took place about ten years earlier in Sweden than in Norway (Eeg-Henriksen, 2008). 30 Maternity leave, which was introduced in Sweden in 1939 (Eeg-Henriksen, 2008) and granted employment security for mothers, and income compensation during maternity leave brought about that women who had secondary education were not forced to choose between employment and family formation to the same extent as before. Thus, they were able to leverage their investments into labour market human capital to a larger extent even if having a child.
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Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden

Infant Health, Cognitive Performance and Earnings: Evidence from Inception of the Welfare State in Sweden

In a recent review of the literature, Almond et al. (2017) argue that the effects of the early life environment on long run outcomes are often heterogeneous,“reflecting differences in child endowments, budget constraints, and production technologies”. Here, we highlight the role of opportunities. While our findings reinforce the small body of evidence demonstrating causal effects of infant health on cognitive performance in the school years, they also highlight that the average earnings payoff to cognitive skills is uncertain, being dependent upon distributional effects that may determine higher education choices and on demand conditions. While previous work has discussed changes in the relative demand for female (vs male) labour stemming from recession, war, or technological change, we provide a new perspective, emphasising how expan- sion of broad-based public services will tend to change the relative demand for female labour. This is of potential relevance to understanding historical trends in women’s employment, and the prospects for women in developing countries that are currently witnessing large-scale expansion in the provision of schooling, public health services and, potentially, pre-school centres.
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The Long-Run Consequences of Chernobyl: Evidence on Subjective Well-Being, Mental Health and Welfare

The Long-Run Consequences of Chernobyl: Evidence on Subjective Well-Being, Mental Health and Welfare

Where could the described anxiety and health worries of people affected by low, subclinical radiation doses come from? After the accident, two mutually re-enforcing sources of uncertainty regarding potential health consequences put the population under distress: First, individuals were uncertain about their treatment state, i.e. their personal level of affectedness, as radiation is invisible, taste- and odourless. However, the Soviet government initiated large- scale countermeasures intended to protect residents from radiation. These countermeasures were geographically highly correlated with actual radioactive fallout and have signaled the spatial variation in contamination to the general population. Individuals who actually received very low radiation levels have as a consequence interpreted the official security measures as a signal for serious radiation and health danger (Lee 1996: 301; UNSCEAR 2008). Second, the potential health consequences of the treatment were perceived as highly uncertain. This perception was triggered, on the one hand, by the distinctive features of nuclear radiation and, on the other hand, by the unavailability of reliable information regarding expected health consequences of radiation. Nuclear radiation is often considered slow poison and its consequences may remain latent for long periods of time. Hence, it is uncertain whether and when its consequences will be realized. The unresolved and sometimes ideologically motivated scientific debate on long-term health outcomes, especially with respect to cancer in adults, fostered the uncertainty in the general population. Additionally, the Soviet government deliberately concealed the scale and danger of the accident in 1986, which must have seemed at odds with the series of large scale countermeasures 11 . These contradictory signals created room for rumors and fear which further increased the perceived uncertainty in the population (Bromet 2012; Rahu 2003). Recent research on the role of risk communication in the aftermath of large-scale nuclear accidents seems to confirm that information can serve as a signal about affectedness. In fact, as shown for the accident of Fukushima in 2011, less credible information and greater uncertainty about the consequences of the disaster led to elevated levels of distress in Japan (Rubin et al. 2012).
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Welfare reform, health insurance, and health

Welfare reform, health insurance, and health

The potential loss of health insurance was an important concern of Congress during the debate leading to passage of PRWORA. In fact, PRWO- RA contains provisions “assuring Medicaid coverage for low-income fam- ilies,” which provides — among other things — transitional Medicaid benefits for those who leave welfare. If welfare reform led to loss of health insurance coverage, as has been claimed, it might have adversely affected the health of persons in these families. Furthermore, welfare reform could have affected women’s health in ways other than through changes in insurance cover- age. Between 1994 and 2000, approxi- mately one-fifth of all low-educated, single mothers made the transition from welfare-to-work. The switch from subsidized household work to paid employment could affect financial resources, time constraints, and the amount and kind of physical activity, all of which may affect women’s health and health behaviors. On the other hand, employment may result in improved feelings of self worth, increased earnings, and greater access to quality health care through employ- er-sponsored insurance, and these changes may improve women’s health. Surprisingly, there has been rela- tively little study of the effect of wel- fare reform on health insurance cover- age and health, even though health is an essential component of wellbeing and arguably is as important as materi- al wellbeing, which has been a widely studied outcome of welfare reform. Here I report on some recent research related to these issues.
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