Pig bristles in brush with Malaysian law



Authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia have seized some 2,000 paintbrushes labelled as "halal" but suspected to have been made with pig bristles, an official said Wednesday.

Officials from the domestic trade ministry conducted raids on shops throughout the country after some brushes previously sent for testing at a laboratory showed they were made with pig bristles.

Muslims consider pigs to be unclean and pork and its by-products are "haram" or forbidden.

Goods marked "halal" -- meaning "permissible" in Arabic -- are acceptable to them.

"We will send the (2,000) brushes to a lab for testing and verification," Zarif Anwar, a ministry official, told AFP.

It is against the law to sell products made from any part of a pig unless the items are labelled and stored separately.

The paintbrushes would not have been seized had they been correctly labelled and separated from halal products, domestic trade minister Hamzah Zainudin was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

Halal standards also apply to products such as cosmetics.

Shoes lined with pigskin are labelled as such and covered in plastic in some Malaysian malls.

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