Disturbing new images have emerged of wet markets in Asia continuing to sell live and dead animals, including slaughtered dogs and pig brains, despite the widespread belief that the coronavirus pandemic started in one.
Video shared by animal rights group PETA captures the harrowing scenes of markets in China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand, where vendors still sell wildlife to the public.
Viruses carrying viruses, such as bats and civets, are trapped in dirty cages and displayed along the way as scooters pass by.
Monkeys scream for help and jump in distress while trapped in a pile of small metal cages.
Pets such as cats and rabbits have also fallen victim to the sellers as blood covers the floor.
In one clip, a rabbit is seen suffering from pain, shaking uncontrollably and dying in a small cage in an Indonesian wet market.
In Cambodia, flip-flop workers walk across blood-soaked floors and cut open pig and bird carcasses with their bare hands.
They have the pig brains on display for customers as the locals use it for traditional medicines and delicacies.
While China has started its first phase of halting sales of certain meats after a Wuhan wet market proved to be the likely source of the coronavirus outbreak, other countries such as Vietnam are still killing dogs and cats for sale.
A market stall sells cooked dog heads and bodies, while the stall next door has cages of live animals waiting to be slaughtered.
These markets carry a high risk of spreading deadly viruses, such as swine flu, bird flu and SARS, to live animals and to humans as animal blood, feces and meat on display.
PETA is now urging the World Health Organization to close the markets for live animals worldwide, including the hundreds still operating in the US.
Ingrid Newkirk, President of PETA said, “The next deadly pandemic is inevitable as long as the markets full of sick and stressed animals are still open.
“PETA calls on government officials to close these Petri dishes for pandemics.”