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Paul McCartney has branded Chinese wet markets ‘medieval’ and called for them to be banned, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus is widely understood to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread globally, killing around 133,000 people around the world.

The pandemic has sparked many campaigners to call for a global ban on wet markets – including vegan charity PETA, which notes that these markets are found in numerous countries around the world as well as China, citing New York City as having numerous live animal markets which have also been criticized for being unhygienic and cruel.

‘Quite medieval practices’

According to the Guardian, long-time vegetarian McCartney told US radio host Howard Stern: “I really hope that this will mean the Chinese government says, ‘OK guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here.’ Let’s face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if this is the only thing it seems like you can blame on those wet markets. It seems like Sars, avian flu, all sorts of other stuff that has afflicted us … and what’s it for? For these quite medieval practices. They need to clean up their act. This may lead to [change]. If this doesn’t, I don’t know what will…when you’ve got the obscenity of some of the stuff that’s going on there and what comes out of it, they might as well be letting off atomic bombs. It’s affecting the whole world.

“I understand that part of it is going to be: people have done it for ever, this is the way we do things. But they did slavery forever, too. You’ve got to change things at some point.”