AceShowbiz - Ricky Gervais has demanded governments around the world close the wildlife 'wet markets' where the coronavirus is believed to have first infected humans.
The disease COVID-19, which is thought to have originated in bats, was reportedly first contracted by a human in a 'wet market' in Wuhan, China late last year before spreading across the globe.
Chinese officials shut down the market, after becoming concerned the virus had begun to spread, and now Ricky has called on them to make the ban permanent and for other countries with similar practices, like Indonesia, to ban them or risk humanity's future.
"For the sake of people and animals, wildlife trade and consumption has to end, now," the "After Life" star told Britain's Sunday Mirror, whose reporters have unearthed images of live bats and reptiles still on sale alongside dogs in Indonesia.
Animal lover Ricky went on to warn that if humans keep mistreating animals we risk sparking another pandemic.
"We can't carry on exploiting animals, eating wildlife and trashing the planet," he said. "The wildlife trade and markets have to close, otherwise it will be a case of when, and not if, we have another global pandemic.
"How bad does this have to get before you close down Indonesia's extreme animal markets that pose the exact same risk as the wildlife wet markets in Wuhan, China?"
British stars Paul O'Grady, who believes he has contracted COVID-19, and wildlife show hosts Michaela Strachan and Philippa Forrester have also backed Ricky's campaign.