Dogs, cats and rare animals are still sold side by side in a well-known meat market in northern Indonesia.
Tomohon Extreme Market is known in the animal husbandry industry for cruelty to animals by market stall holders.
Gathering many different species that would otherwise not be able to mix in a warm, moisture-rich environment can spread the disease.
Scientists have argued that the new coronavirus emerged in a setting similar to Wuhan, China.
In early April, agents for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) visited the Tomohon Wet Market and another in Bangkok, Thailand.
They found humans wearing flip-flops walking on blood-soaked floors and handling the raw flesh of pigs with their bare hands.
Rotten blood and flesh covered the floors and counters while dogs, pigs and a snake lay dead while flies buzzed around them.
Chickens and cats waited for slaughter in cramped cages and bags full of live frogs lay next to the mutilated bodies of dead frogs.
Bat vendor Stenly Timbuleng said the pandemic had not affected sales and that he had “always sold”.
He usually sells 50 to 60 a day, but can whip up to 600 winged animals a day during the holiday season.
Alf Jacob Nilsen said he felt the cruelty exhibited by the stall holders was performative when he visited the Indonesian market.
“Not only because the poor animals are treated in the most brutal way and certainly suffer, but also because there must clearly be a risk of spreading parasites and serious diseases when dealing in this way with dogs and dog meat.
“It is terrible to see stray dogs in cages coming out of their cages and hammered to death with wooden batons.”
PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk said the market should be closed to avoid the risk of a new pandemic.
“The next pandemic is imminent as long as sick and stressed animals are crowded into blood-soaked meat markets,” she said.
“PETA calls on the World Health Organization to help end these dangerous operations, whether they kill chickens in New York or cats in Indonesia.”
Deadly epidemics of swine flu, avian flu, SARS, HIV, foot and mouth disease, mad cow disease and other zoonotic diseases result from the capture or breeding of animals for food.