Malaysia seizes paintbrushes made with pig bristles labelled as 'halal'

A Selangor Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism officer checks paint brushes that are believed to be made from pig bristles at a hardware store in Klang.
A Selangor Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism officer checks paint brushes that are believed to be made from pig bristles at a hardware store in Klang. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia have seized some 2,000 paintbrushes labelled as "halal" but made with pig bristles.

Officials from the domestic trade ministry conducted raids on shops throughout the country after some of the brushes were sent for testing at a laboratory.

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.

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.