Spelman puts badger cull 'ball' in farmers court.

Alistair Driver (Farmers Guardian) reports that the farming industry has welcomed Defra's decision to sanction two pilot badger culls this year but he fears that concerns remain.  Defra Secretary Caroline Spelman has effectively said 'over to you' when she confirmed the decision to allow two pilot culls to take place in England in 2012.

From hereon in, the success of the policy, give or take the odd legal challenge, will largely be down to the willingness of farmers in the selected areas to participate and the effectiveness with which the pilot culls are carried out.

The NFU and National Beef Association (NBA) has already performed a large amount of preparatory work in potential badger control areas.

But the two organisations acknowledge there is still more to be done in terms of building farmer confidence and finalising policy details with licensing body Natural England.

Three key areas of concern remain among the farmers who could potentially be affected by the policy - the timing, the cost and security concerns.

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