Wet markets in Indonesia are still selling bats and other exotic animals for their meat despite scientific evidence that has linked the coronavirus outbreak to a similar market in Wuhan.
Bats, snakes and rats for sale
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread rampantly around the world, shocking new video footage has emerged, revealing that Indonesia is still selling bats, rats, snakes and other wild animals at its wet markets, potentially exposing the world to another deadly outbreak in the future.
Video footage taken at the Tomohon Traditional Market in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, shows butchers slaughtering animals in the open. At one point, bats are shown being sliced up by a vendor as a customer watches on. Elsewhere, there are piles of rats and whole dogs on display while dead snakes suspend from the ceilings.
According to a local reporter Agung Maupa, who recorded the footage on May 2, such animals continue to remain in high demand despite the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed more than 250,000 lives across the globe. Check out the horrifying footage from the Tomohon wet market below:
Wet markets are breeding grounds for viruses
Wet markets around the world have drawn international attention and are at the centre of an intensifying debate over whether they should be allowed to operate, as they've been identified as hotbeds for dangerous bacteria and viruses like coronavirus predominantly due to the unsanitary conditions these markets maintain.
"There are real dangers in these kinds of environments," said Dr David Nabarro, a WHO special envoy on COVID-19. "Seventy-five per cent of emerging infections come from the animal kingdom. It's partly the markets, but it's also other places where humans and animals are in close contact."
Scientists claim that COVID-19 originated from the Huanan wet market in Wuhan after jumping from animals sold at the market to humans. It is believed the virus originated in horseshoe bats and was transmitted to humans, despite unsubstantiated theories that it was accidentally released from a Wuhan lab.
The wet market in Tomohon continues to operate despite reports that local authorities found another strain of coronavirus in the bats sold at the market in 2018, according to the Daily Mail.