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Texas bans fish pedicures

Oct. 9, 2008 at 2:21 PM

AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Texas banned fish pedicures Thursday, barring salons from providing small live fish to eat the dead skin off clients' feet.

The state Department of Licensing and Regulation said that the practice could transmit disease, The Dallas Morning News reported. A spokeswoman, Susan Stanford, said that the same fish are used for different clients.

Living fish cannot be subjected to rigorous disinfection, Stanford said.

The craze for fish pedicures, pioneered by a salon in Virginia, spread quickly this summer. Stanford said she didn't know how many Texas salons do fish pedicures.

Zoe Caldwell, one of the owners of Zen Luxury Nail & Beauty Bar in Frisco, said she paid $2,500 for 500 fish.

"I guess we will either keep them as pets or send them back," she said.

She said that her salon follows rigorous procedures with its fish, disinfecting footbaths after every procedure while the fish are transferred to a tank and treated with antimicrobial agents.

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