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Court Takes Up Fish Pedicure Ban

November 7, 2014

GILBERT, Ariz. — A Maricopa County Superior Court judge began hearing a lawsuit Monday on whether the Arizona Board of Cosmetology can ban the practice of using toothless carp to remove dead skin during pedicures at one Gilbert salon.

A lawsuit filed by the independent government watchdog group the Goldwater Institute on behalf of salon owner Cindy Vong challenges whether the state can ban Vong from using Garra rufa fish, a 2-inch carp that doesn’t have teeth.

The cosmetology board says the practice is unhealthy, unsanitary and also violates state statutes and board regulations because the fish cannot be sterilized with barbicide and an ultraviolet lamp. Vong said the fish are clean and safe. The Arizona Board of Cosmetology is seeking to have the case dismissed and filed a motion with the judge to do so in late December.



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