If you want West Virginia deer meat at a West Virginia eatery. You won't get it.

It's still illegal to sell or serve state-bred venison in a state restaurant.

At least one lawmaker is trying to change that.

The Division of Natural Resources says the practice could lead to the spread of disease, or at least the suspicion of an outbreak.

Several state restaurants serve venison from their menu, but it comes from professional growers from out-of-state.

Sen. Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, has proposed a law legalizing in-state farmers to sell white-tailed deer meat.

He said some places buy it from Venezuela. "It doesn't make sense."

The Division of Natural Resources warns authorizing the sale of West Virginia-raised deer meat could open up a large area of liability in a risky food industry.

DNR's Hoy Murphy said "When you bring in deer from other places or you start selling your own, you're risking the chance they'll bring disease back."

The DNR did say that deer farmers in the state - a little more than 50 are registered - are struggling to make ends meet.