Farmers Must Not Be Blamed For Biodiversity Decline, Councillor Says

An Austrian politician and organic farmer has rejected accusations that farmers are responsible for the extinction of numerous insects.

Michaela Langer-Weninger is Councillor for Agriculture in Upper Austria where beekeeping is more popular than anywhere else in Austria. The 43-year-old politician also manages an organic dairy in Innerschwand near Mondsee Lake.

Asked by local newspaper Tips whether conventional agricultural businesses were to blame for the death of various insect species, Langer-Weninger said: “Studies carried out in the past 30 years confirm that insect populations have remained stable. It is true that regional differences have been detected.

“I strongly dismiss claims that farmers are the only group responsible for climate change-induced developments.

The People’s Party politician added that the agricultural sector “wants a rich biological diversity. But we need more consciousness in our society. Everyone can do their bit in protecting the variety of faunal species.”

Picture shows Councillor for Agriculture in Upper Austria – Michaela Langer-Weninger, undated.
(Hermann Wakolbinger, Land OÖ, NewsX/BF)

Langer-Weninger, a mother-of-three, established her Aichriedlhof hay milk farm in the town of Innerschwand in 2002.

More than 8,200 residents of Upper Austria engage in beekeeping, according to the Federal Austrian Association of Beekeepers.

Agricultural enterprises’ excessive usage of insecticides and one-crop agriculture are widely regarded as one of the major threats to the existence of honey bees and other insects.

Situated in northern Austrian, Upper Austria is the Alpine country’s fourth-largest province.

The region’s 31,300 agricultural businesses cultivate an area of 1.05 million hectares.

Around 23 per cent of Austrian cattle farms are located in Upper Austria.

A third of Austrian dairy produce originates from Upper Austria.


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