Board of Cosmetology vs. Fish Spa Salon

A Gilbert salon owner is in court to appeal a ban from using feet-nibbling fish during pedicures.

The fish remove the dead skin from customer's feet, and the state is calling the age-old Asian procedure unsanitary and illegal. Both sides went before a judge Monday.

The salon owner says her business was unfairly targeted, and the Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit on her behalf, trying to get the fish spa reopened.

Cindy Vong says the treatment is hygienic and the water is clean. The Goldwater Institute says the state's Board of Cosmetology overstepped its bounds.

"The Board of Cosmetology does not have jurisdiction over fish... It is arbitrary to shut down a business that does absolutely no harm to the public," says attorney Clint Bolick.

Attorneys for the state say they have the right to regulate pedicures, and in this case they had serious health concerns and put a stop to the procedure..

Vong says the ban has cost her business and her financial investment.

The judge will now consider whether the Board of Cosmetology can in fact ban the use of fish in pedicures.
 

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