A state senator representing the Bronx wants to ban a procedure secretly practiced at city salons during which customers receive pedicures through fish nibbling on their toes, citing one Astoria establishment that has offered the treatment.
State Sen. Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) has introduced a bill that would ban “fish pedicures” at salons in New York state, arguing that the procedure is unsanitary for customers and inhumane for the hundreds of fish used in the treatment. The senator unveiled the legislation Monday outside Astoria’s Ritz Nail & Spa, where the pedicures have been offered.
“It’s an unsavory and unsanitary practice,” Klein said. “You can’t sanitize fish. And this is cruel treatment of animals because they starve these fish.”
During the treatment, a customer would place their feet in a water-filled tank and hundreds of small fish, typically the toothless garra rufa or the toothed chin chin, nibble at the dead skin at their feet.
There is currently no law prohibiting the process in the state, though some other states have banned it.
Klein said the Astoria salon, on 31st Street, is the only site where he knows the procedure has been offered. But he said he has been told the process has become a “trendy” but secret method in some Brooklyn and Manhattan salons.
Sun King, owner of Ritz Nail & Spa, admitted he had offered the treatment for about one year, but decided to discontinue the practice several months ago.
“I heard it was bad news and that it was unsanitary,” he said. “At the beginning, I did it a few times, but not anymore. It makes the foot a little softer and smoother.”
Get the full story in the Oct. 15 editions of the TimesLedger Newspapers or online at yournabe.com.
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