Pols Angling to Ban Fishy Foot Service

Bill attacks feet-cleaning fish

By Emily Feldman
|  Monday, Oct 12, 2009  |  Updated 1:37 PM EDT
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Salon Not Just Wingin' it With Bird-Poop Facial

Health officials worry that these feeding fishies could transmit foul foot diseases from customer to customer.

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Salon Not Just Wingin' it With Bird-Poop Facial

A local salon takes its unusual services pretty seriously, including the bird-poop facial and the fish pedicure.
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It may be fin-ito for a fishy type of pedicure if a proposed ban makes its way through state Legislature.

The new bill introduced by state Sen. Jeffrey Klein (D-Bronx) aims to halt a growing beauty trend, in which paying customers have the dead skin sucked off their feet by a team of toothless carp.

"Sometimes, people might think that something sounds cool, 'It's trendy.  Let me try it,' " the New York Post quoted Klein as saying. "They should know the ramifications. This is something that is dangerous and clearly unsanitary."

Some health officials say these fishy feet-eaters could spread infections from customer to customer, while other opponents worry that some salons may improvise with cheaper, toothier fish.

A statewide ban would make New York the 15th state to ban the service, which came to the United States just a year ago from China.  So far, not one New Yorker has filed a formal complaint to the Department of State, which regulates beauty salons, although a spokesman indicated they were wary of the trend.

"This is something that for a whole number of reasons we would be concerned about," Department of State spokesman, Joel Barkin told the Post. "This may already be something that's not allowed under a current law."

Under the proposed law, a first offense would result in a $250 fine, while a second offense would be labeled a Class B misdemeanor.

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