Manama: Bahrain’s government has rejected a proposal by a lawmaker to ban the import and sale of pork in the country.

The government attributed its decision not to go along with the parliamentary proposal to the large number of non-Muslims working and living in Bahrain.

In its reply to the parliament, the government said that all kinds of meat imported by Bahrain, including pork, were duly checked to ensure they met the sanitary requirements, Bahraini daily Al Ayam reported on Sunday.

The government’s stance to allow the sale of pork has been firm despite attempts by lawmakers to reverse it.

In 2015, MP Abdullah Bin Howail called for a blanket ban on the import, sale and possession of pork products.

The lawmaker argued that dealing with pork or related products was against Islam and that Bahrain, as a Muslim country, should adhere to Sharia rulings.

His proposal was made three months after the Shura Council, the upper chamber of the bicameral parliament, voted to dismiss amendments to the Penal Code that would have criminalised dealing with pork.

Shura members argued that the ban would have been a violation of the human rights of the non-Muslims who lived in the kingdom.

Bahrain is home to around 600,000 foreigners, making up slightly more than half of the total population.