Readers of The Mail on Sunday have written to say how strongly they agree about the threat of contagion they pose, and to offer ideas on how we can bring about an absolute crackdown on this vile trade.

Others simply expressed disbelief. ‘For goodness sake,’ wrote one woman in an email, ‘what pandemic are they going to give the world next?’

The bats of Tomohon market are Indonesia’s worst-kept secret, but the photograph revealed on this page still has the power to shock.

The local ‘it can’t happen here’ complacency with regard to a viral disease is dangerously misplaced.