Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Texas bans fish pedicures

From Practical Fishkeeping, this breaking story:
The US state of Texas has banned the use of fish in providing pedicures over health and safety concerns... fish pedicures - where customers pay to have the dead skin nibbled off their feet by small tropical fish - are no longer allowed in the state.

The Department said that, since the same fish are used to clean the skin of multiple people, that there are concerns that the practice could spread infections.


A number of salons and beauty centres have reportedly purchased the fish and now need to rehome them.

The use of fish to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis is popular in Turkey, where warm pools are stocked with a small cyprinid fish called Garra rufa, which nibbles flakes of skin from the body...

However, most of the fish pictured in the news reports covering the live fish pedicures in the US have not been Garra rufa. They have in fact been juvenile Tilapia - a species of cichlid which is commonly farmed for food and reaches a size of 30cm or more.

I don't know where to start, in wondering who to be sorry for. The poor fish needing to be rehomed? The substitution of inferior Tilapia for the real deal? The poor psoriasis sufferers, reduced to not being nibbled...

Hey, wait! The psoriasis sufferers can rehome the homeless Garra rufa.

Problem solved.


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