Spa owner challenges order stopping fish pedicures - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Spa owner challenges order stopping fish pedicures

Posted: Updated:
Cindy Vong Cindy Vong
PHOENIX -

A 2-day civil trial is underway in the case of a valley spa owner accused of violating state law. She's been ordered to stop using fish in pedicures to bite dead skin off of customers' feet.

But that woman is challenging that court order.

They're referred to as fish pedicures and they're popular in Asia, but fairly new here in the U.S. The State Board of Cosmetology forced her to shut down and now she is fighting back in court.

Owner Cindy Vong spent nearly $40,000 setting up the business. She even imported the fish from China.

"The spa fish that I do doesn't harm anyone and it's just a business," says Vong.

But the State Board of Cosmetology doesn't see it that way. According to state law, the tools used in a salon have to be disinfected after each use.

"Fish are not subject by their very nature to the kind of disinfection that is required by the board, of any object that comes into contact with a salon client," says Evan Hiller, attorney for Cosmetology Board.

Cindy Vong took the stand Monday saying she kept her business as clean as she possibly could. her attorney from the Goldwater Institute claims the fish are more about fun than beauty.

"The Board of Cosmetology is regulating this as if it is a form of pedicuring, when in reality it is a form of entertainment," says Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute.

To prove the fish are harmless, Vong's attorneys flew in an expert from London. Apparently places like this are popular in the UK.

"It is no different than going into any special treatment establishment anywhere in the world, as long as the staff are competent, they are properly trained and the premises are healthy and sanitized in the right way, there is no problem," says Graham Jukes, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health

Vong hopes to reopen her east valley business. The judge will have the final say.

"This is not just about Cindy Vong and a very unusual occupation, this is about every American's right to earn an honest living," says Bolick.

Fish pedicures are banned in a handful of states. Vong opened the spa in 2008 but had to close it after less than a year.

Follow this story:

  • LocalMore>>

  • $10 million for East End overpass.

    $10 million for East End overpass.

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:20 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:20:32 GMT
    In the heart of the East End, at whatever intersection you stop, you will notice it's a busy community.A once very humble Harrisburg street now has a new look to it, and it's all because of a new light rail line in the community, which has revitalized the area..However, not all is pretty.For several blocks, this is what residents say they have been seeing for years. ....no rail, no construction crews, and no movement at all.“That’s coming. That’s here. What’s missing is this part, which will ...
    In the heart of the East End, at whatever intersection you stop, you will notice it's a busy community.A once very humble Harrisburg street now has a new look to it, and it's all because of a new light rail line in the community, which has revitalized the area..However, not all is pretty.For several blocks, this is what residents say they have been seeing for years. ....no rail, no construction crews, and no movement at all.“That’s coming. That’s here. What’s missing is this part, which will ...
  • Launch Academy - Moving Autistic Kids to Employment, Independent Living

    Launch Academy - Moving Autistic Kids to Employment, Independent Living

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:18 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:18:14 GMT
    The sofa has become the symbolic enemy of every mother and father raising a special needs child.That's because each of these parents genuinely fears their kid will graduate from school to the couch and never get off.To head off this heartache, a cutting edge school has emerged in Sugarland. It's called Launch Academy, a place where teens with autism literally rehearse full-time for the real life to come."What it comes down to is they don't have a community. They have never graduated or been p...
    The sofa has become the symbolic enemy of every mother and father raising a special needs child.That's because each of these parents genuinely fears their kid will graduate from school to the couch and never get off.To head off this heartache, a cutting edge school has emerged in Sugarland. It's called Launch Academy, a place where teens with autism literally rehearse full-time for the real life to come."What it comes down to is they don't have a community. They have never graduated or been p...
  • YOUNG CYPRESS CANCER PATIENT “DOC FOR A DAY”

    YOUNG CYPRESS CANCER PATIENT “DOC FOR A DAY”

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:12:35 GMT
    The doctor is in and her name is Raelyn Cutbirth. "She's a beautiful, amazing, hilarious little girl," said David Cutbirth, her father.At just 4-years-old the little beauty is beaming with joy after she got to be a veterinarian for a day at the Animal Medical Center of Cypress. "This is the ultimate for her, her ultimate passion is animals," said Jenni Cutbirth, her mom. "Doc is in,” said Raelyn in her sweet, soft voice. She even has the name tag to prove it. “Dr. Raelyn. ‘You're doctor Raely...
    The doctor is in and her name is Raelyn Cutbirth. "She's a beautiful, amazing, hilarious little girl," said David Cutbirth, her father.At just 4-years-old the little beauty is beaming with joy after she got to be a veterinarian for a day at the Animal Medical Center of Cypress. "This is the ultimate for her, her ultimate passion is animals," said Jenni Cutbirth, her mom. "Doc is in,” said Raelyn in her sweet, soft voice. She even has the name tag to prove it. “Dr. Raelyn. ‘You're doctor Raely...
Powered by WorldNow

KRIV FOX 26
4261 Southwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77027

Phone: (713) 479-2801
Fax: (713) 479-2859

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices