Lawmakers introduce bill to fight chronic wasting disease

By CBS 58 Newsroom

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Crossbow deer hunt season gets underway this weekend, and lawmakers are pushing forward legislation to keep hunters safe from chronic wasting disease. 

The disease causes brain degeneration in deer and eventual weight loss and loss of bodily functions.

The bills introduced Tuesday would provide funding for disease research and management, as well as funds for testing kiosks and disposal sites. 

Lawmakers say that is necessary in order to keep track of the disease and avoid CWD spreading further.

"Folks simply need convenient access to test and drop off their deer carcasses, especially because we've heard that there are many places that simply won't accept deer carcasses," said Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point). "Considering that that's one of the primary ways that CWD can spread, we have to do better, and this legislation tackles that."

State officials have been tracking the disease since 2002, and more than 4,000 deer have tested positive in 56 counties.