KUALA LUMPUR, March 1 — The authorities will inspect shops from next week onwards to ensure brushes made from pig bristles are labelled and separated, minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin confirmed.
Hamzah said the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry he heads will not hesitate to act on traders who fail to comply with the labelling requirements after they were given a month to resolve the issue.
“This halal issue will be resolved in a month’s time since we announced this issue. So next week, we will carry out operations to ensure they comply with this rule.
“The ministry will take action according to the law. The government wants to always see the people living comfortably, not afraid and in a state of suspicion,” he was quoted saying by local daily Berita Harian.
In a separate report by local daily Sin Chew Daily, Hamzah reportedly said that his ministry’s operations will begin on March 10, with action to be taken following the expiry of the one-month grace period from February 9 to March 9 to ensure labelling of products made from pig or dog parts.
After a nationwide crackdown early last month where over RM10,000 worth of brushes suspected to be made from pig bristles were seized, Hamzah had on February 9 announced a halt on raids and for officers to educate traders on the labelling of their products.
Noting that many traders were unaware of local laws requiring separation of pig-derived products, Hamzah then said all the seized brushes will be returned over the coming weeks, adding that it was sufficient for traders to label their products as having been made from animal parts if they were uncertain.
The ministry had reportedly issued on February 10 a letter to the Malaysian Hardware Wholesalers Association, informing the latter that traders have to separate products with pig or dog parts from other products and label them as “Made from pig” or “Made from dog” or with other similar tagging in accordance with a 2013 order that came into effect on February 1, 2014.
The order refers to the Trade Descriptions Order (Goods Made of Any Part of Pig or Dog) 2013, which was used for the raids.