Bats, rats, snakes, cats and many other animals, often charred and impaled are still being sold at an Indonesian market despite a government’s request to take them off the menu amid coronavirus dread, international media reported. Researchers in China have attributed the origins of the virus to animal meat. In an unprecedented development, coronavirus has killed nearly 1,355 and infected over 60,000 people.
The business at the Tomohon Extreme Meat market on Sulawesi island is on the rise, International media reported. Speaking to media, vendors revealed that many curious tourists arrive every day to check out the exotic meat. Meanwhile, sellers in Jakarta continue to sell snakeskins and cobra blood.
The stalls in the Indonesian market feature an array of animals including snakes, impaled rats and charred dogs which are presented with their hair removed by blowtorches. Many critics have reportedly described their experience as ‘walking through hell.’ Bats are the favourite indigenous protein, particularly in North Sulawesi, Indonesian culinary expert and author of multiple cookbooks, William W. Wongso, told international media.
Restaurateur Lince Rengkuan, who serves bats including their heads and wings stewed in coconut milk and spices said the secret is preparation. She added that so far the numbers haven’t gone down at all. Bat seller Stenly Timbuleng speaking to media reporters said that coronavirus has not affected sales. He added that the bat meat is always sold out.
This all comes despite a warning by the government and health agencies to take bats and other wildlife out of circulation. Ruddy Lengkong, head of the area's government trade and industry agency speaking to international media revealed that they are urging people not to consume meat from animals suspected to be carriers of a fatal disease.