A Sunday report from the Daily Mail claimed the Wuhan Institute of Virology was granted a patent for "bat rearing cages" — which the publication called "secret bat cages" — just 11 months before Beijing, China reported the first cases of coronavirus a few miles from the lab.
"The cloak of secrecy with which the Chinese government has enveloped the institute makes it hard to establish the extent to which the patents were translated into practice, but an online biography of the lab's work also states that researchers have the capacity to keep 12 bat cages, along with 12 ferret cages," the publication reported.
According to the outlet, the patent for the cages includes in-depth detail about drinking, feeding, and breeding conditions for bats. The document also allegedly says the bats are freed after researchers obtain the necessary sample or raised temporarily.
Notably, a previous report from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology found that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control was conducting research on diseased rats. The paper underlined the facility is located adjacent to the hospital where doctors were first infected during the initial spread of the virus.
The World Health Organization recently conducted a four-week investigation into the origins of the coronavirus and concluded it was not released from a lab. Instead, the report suggested it might have originated from food, a bat infection that jumped to humans, or transmission from animals to bats that ultimately jumped to humans.
As The Inquisitr reported, President Joe Biden's administration expressed concerns over the findings, which reportedly did not provide raw data due to China's refusal to do so. Elsewhere, former President Donald Trump's Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger previously claimed a research laboratory was the most likely source of the coronavirus pandemic.
As noted by the Daily Mail, the WHO team included Peter Daszak, a British-born zoologist whose organization — EcoHealth Alliance — has examined bat-borne viruses with the Wuhan lab for 15 years. Notably, Daszak in April last year said the Wuhan researchers do not keep bats or kill them.
"All bats are released back to their cave site after sampling. It's a conservation measure and is much safer in terms of disease spread than killing them or trying to keep them in a lab."Daszak notably faced criticisms for his funding and research connections to the Wuhan lab.
Elsewhere, the publication noted the Wuhan institute filed a patent on October 16, 2020, that discussed the "artificial breeding method of wild bat" and refers to the transmission of SARS-CoV from bats to humans and other animals.