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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 17:39 GMT
Tougher rules for tattoo parlours
Girl with piercing
Operators will need to be licensed from next year
Tougher controls on the 200-plus tattoo parlours and skin piercing businesses in Scotland are to come into effect in April next year.

The Scottish Executive published a draft order under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act on Wednesday.

Operators will need to be licensed and will require written consent from parents of under-16s before they can carry out skin and body piercing.

However, the Conservatives claimed the consent move was unworkable.

There will be a 12-month transitional period for existing firms to comply with the new requirements.

The introduction of a requirement for written parental consent for children under 16 years old is unenforceable and wide open to abuse
Dr Nanette Milne
Conservative spokeswoman

Health Minister Andy Kerr said: "In businesses such as skin and body piercing, public health and hygiene must be of the highest importance.

"Most tattoo service operators in Scotland already know the dangers of dirty equipment and contaminated dye, but we must be sure that such standards are applied across the country."

He said the controls were needed to reduce the risk of blood-borne infection.

The Scottish Conservatives' health spokeswoman, Dr Nanette Milne, welcomed the introduction of a licensing regime.

"However, the introduction of a requirement for written parental consent for children under 16 years old is unenforceable and wide open to abuse," she said.

"How can it be proved that a signature produced in a tattoo parlour is that of the parent?"


BBC NEWS:VIDEO AND AUDIO
See one tattoo artist's views on the move



SEE ALSO:
Tattoo machines 'damage health'
17 Sep 03 |  Health


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