Bahrain MPs Vote to Ban Pork in Kingdom

BAHRAIN - Lawmakers in Bahrain have approved a change in legislation that would criminalise the sale, import, export, production and possession of all pork products, it was reported.
calendar icon 22 May 2013
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Arabian reports that Gulf Daily News said that MPs in the Gulf state on Tuesday (21 May) voted in favour of an outright pork ban, which would stipulate jail terms of up to two month and/or fines of up to BD300 ($800) for those caught with such products. Repeat offenders would be handed stiffer penalties.

It is now up to Bahrain’s Shoura Council to approve the ban, although Gulf Daily News reported that this is unlikely to happen until after its summer recess.

The proposal, based on Islamic sensibilities which prohibit consumption of pork, would exclude uses of the meat for medical purposes.

The criminalisation of pork, whose distribution in the country is already highly controlled, was part of a raft of new measures containing Islamist overtones passed by lawmakers this week. Other changes included tougher penalties for gambling, public drunkenness and sodomy.

Bahrain has traditionally been viewed as more liberal than many of its Gulf neighbours toward some practices considered forbidden in Islam. Alcohol is freely available in a number of bars around the city, while pork products are on sale in specific outlets.

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