Florida Added to List of States That Ban Fish Pedicures
Last summer CBS news reported on fish pedicures when John Ho opened what was believed to be the first salon to offer the unusual pedicure.
At the time, Ho said he wanted to come up with something unique while finding a replacement for pedicures that use razors to scrape off dead skin. State regulators have sanitation concerns regarding the razors.
The fish are called garra rufa but are also known as doctor fish. They were first used in Turkey and have become popular in some Asian countries.
The pedicure is done by placing one's feet into the pool with the fish. The fish then nibble the dead, flaking skin off the feet. They leave live skin alone because, without teeth, they can't bite it off.
After 15 to 30 minutes in the tank, customers get a standard pedicure, made easier by the soft skin the doctor fish leave behind.
Since last summer, several states have banned the practice, including Texas, Washington, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Florida is the latest state to be added to the list where it is illegal to provide fish pedicures.
The issue is one of public safety and regulation to ensure sanitary conditions. The Florida Board of Cosmetology, housed within the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, determined that fish pedicures are not permitted in salons because they violate two previously standing rules: one that prohibits animals or pets (excluding animals trained to assist the hearing impaired, visually impaired or the physically disabled) in salons and another that sets the standards for pedicure sanitation requirements. The practice is now banned under cosmetology rule, 61G5-20.002, Florida Administrative Code.
Florida Board of Cosmetology