The eating of wild animals has been thought to be a cause of the current pandemic. And now Wuhan officials have stepped in.

Across China and the rest of Asia, there are the notorious livestock wet markets.

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And, due to current events, they're an extremely contentious issue.

But first, let's rewind a couple of decades...

Chinese and Asian wet markets have been an essential part of their economy for years and they are now a huge part of their cultures.

But what exactly is a wet market?

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A wet market is a marketplace found across China and South East Asia that sells fresh meat, fish, produce, other perishable goods, and more than often, live animals that are slaughtered upon customer request.

Not all wet markets hold live animals...

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But because of the ones that do, they have now earned themselves a notorious reputation for their inhumane and cruel acts upon livestock.

It is truly devastating what happens to the live animals who end up at these markets.

Their short lives are spent living in pain and fear - which is no way for any animal to live.

Animal rights activists and organizations have been trying to put a stop to these markets for years...

It is completely archaic that this cruelty has been allowed to happen for so long. Things need to change.

Well, change may just be around the corner.

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In the last few months, many professionals have been pointing their fingers directly at these wet markets as the direct cause of the outbreak of the deadly virus.

The virus, which has now infected more than 2 million people globally, is strongly believed to have originated from one of these wet markets in Wuhan, China.

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Evidence suggests that the sale of contaminated meat from Huanan, one of Wuhan's biggest wet markets, could have been the sole cause of the virus.

The contaminated meat of fruit bats, to be precise.

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And, ever since this outbreak, people have been fighting more than ever before to get these markets shut down.

Sir Paul McCartney described these markets as "medieval" and "obscene."

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Speaking recently to host Howard Stern on his Sirius XM radio show about the ongoing medical pandemic, the music icon said: "I really hope that this will mean that the Chinese government will say, 'OK, guys, we have really got to get super hygienic around here'. Let's face it, it is a little bit medieval eating bats."

And British comedian Ricky Gervais has also spoken about these markets.

Speaking on a live stream on his Twitter account recently, he said: "This will happen again. This comes from animals, like all the other things, MERS and SARS... it comes from animals and f***ing eating things you shouldn’t. I don’t know what to do. What can I do? I’m annoyed at sunbathers so if I saw a wet market, I don’t know what I’d f***ing do."

It is clear that the use of livestock in wet markets has contributed to many life-threatening conditions...

And it is now sadly a waiting game as to when the next virus or infection will be spread like wildfire.

So, after all of this...

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You can see why officials decided something should be done.

And now that change has come.

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As it has been confirmed that the city of Wuhan has officially banned the eating of wild animals.

The law went into effect on May 13th.

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And will last for five years.

The wet markets of the city are all currently closed.

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But it now seems they won't be reopening for fear of another pandemic.

This includes the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

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Which is where it's believed this deadly virus first sprang from.

Not only are these markets being shut down.

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But the eating of any wild animals is banned - even those reared at home.

It certainly seems to be a step in the right direction.

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Although many are querying why the ban is just five years long. Why not a permanent law?

We wonder whether other cities and provinces will follow suit.

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For more on these barbaric markets, keep scrolling to see photos from inside the Wuhan market where the virus was believed to have originated...