Banned: A Practice We Had Never Heard Of

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File this under Trends We Were Not Aware Of: apparently Texans pay to have fish nibble their feet.

But not anymore! The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, which covers a ton of industries including cosmetologists, has banned the practice of "fish pedicures."

"We decided it doesn't meet our health and safety rules," spokeswoman Susan Stanford tells Hair Balls.

What, sticking your feet into some well-used aquarium so that a type of carp known as a "doctor fish" can eat away your dead skin might violate health rules? What kind of nanny state are we living in?

According to the announcement:

TDLR rules do not permit this procedure because the same fish are used on multiple customers and could transmit infectious diseases. Additionally, the use of live fish does not allow for the footbaths and the holding tank for the fish to be adequately cleaned and disinfected in accordance with the rules.

It seems the TDLR didn't notice the "doctor" in "doctor fish." The first rule of any doctor fish is "Do no harm." (The second, it turns out, is "eat feet.")

Stanford couldn't say if any Houston businesses had been offering fish pedicures. The practice apparently started in Virginia.

"We received several inquiries from our licensees here as to whether it was allowed, so we decided to look into it," she says. And they put the hammer down.

Sorry, all you people who get pedicures. You'll have to find some other type of animal to nibble away.

-- Richard Connelly

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