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ZombiePhlegm
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Quote ZombiePhlegm Replybullet Topic: A letter that I wrote to my local MP [19/07/2011]
    Posted: July/07/2011 at 10:13am
I recently contacted my local MP about the practices of a Tattoo Studio that is situated above a pet store that specialises in the sale of Reptiles owned by the piercer.

I was wondering if anyone here would like to add any opinions to what I said or give examples of risks that are attributed to such conditions. There's details about the pet store in the letter bellow.

For American's who view this: An MP is a Member of Parliament. I'm unsure as to what your equivalent is, but they are elected officials that serve to communicate between local people and their government.

Dear, [removed just incase]
                         Recently a new Tattoo Studio has opened within Banbury, named Living Colour Tattoo. A few months back I went into this studio to see the quality of the work produced there and because a friend of mine had earned herself an apprenticeship as a piercer and I was concerned about some of the things that she told me about her apprenticeship. I was in there for around an hour, after a disagreement with the piercer lead to me being threatened by physical violence by the piercer's fiance and then the studio's owner. I mention this just to illustrate my concern.

My main reason to writing to you about this is because of the environment around this studio is not appropriate. The studio occupies the second floor of a building. As far as I'm aware the owner of the studio owns the entire building and rents the lower floor to the piercer of the Studio who operates a pet store specialising on the sale of reptiles. This as I'm sure you're aware is a very large health hazard because of the invasive procedures that are performed just up the stairs.

The pet store and the Studio, as I said, share the same building, meaning that they're joined by a short hallway and stairwell. This means that a potential client that walks in to go up to the studio is exposed to matter from the pet store. These animals are not kept in very good conditions, before you walk into the pet shop (something I did yesterday at great personal risk) you are assaulted by the odour of faeces, a smell that should not be associated with reptiles, seeing as they produce very little of it themselves. Whilst viewing the animals I noticed that a number of their Bearded Dragons among others, such as, frogs, and snakes were kept in enclosures that were not at all appropriate and a number of the smaller animals showed great signs of neglect. Either being caused by the conditions that they are being kept in or the methods being used to breed them.

The two largest concerns I have about this pet store are: The fact that you can smell faeces means that particles of it are floating around in the air, presenting a severe risk of infection if those particles come into contact with an open wound, such as a fresh tattoo or a piercing. Obviously, the most noticeable risk would be that of Salmonellosis as Salmonella is a bacteria that inhabits both a reptile's skin and its intestinal tract, meaning that their faeces contain said bacteria. This brings me to my next point. The piercer of the studio works in the pet store between piercing clients, I saw her down in there handling pet feed behind the counter. Being that this is a store that specialises in reptiles this feed is dead animals, such as mice, rats and chicks for the snakes and live insects such as crickets for the lizards. Though I'm sure the piercer would claim that she makes sure that she washes her hands after handling her animals; the risks that she puts her clients through are unacceptable.

I'm sure that both the conditions in the pet store and the studio are in the least worth inspection by their respective authorities and I am sure that they both will be found to be wanting. However, if it is found by a health inspector that the studio is conforming to acceptable levels of hygiene even whilst it's above a pet store and the piercer puts herself in contact with both her clients and reptiles I feel that the laws pertaining to what is acceptable within a Body Modification studio should be reviewed. These conditions would not be acceptable for a Dentists practice. These conditions should not be acceptable for a Tattoo and Piercing studio.

Yours Sincerly,
[removed for privacy]

Edited by ZombiePhlegm - July/19/2011 at 6:24am

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Keiran1980
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Quote Keiran1980 Replybullet Posted: July/07/2011 at 11:25am
There is nothing specific I would add to that letter. I am interested in the reply your MP will give
"Everyone is from somewhere.
Even if you've never been there." - Ian Anderson
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ZombiePhlegm
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Quote ZombiePhlegm Replybullet Posted: July/07/2011 at 11:29am
I'll post the reply that I get :)

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Keiran1980
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Quote Keiran1980 Replybullet Posted: July/07/2011 at 11:41am
Excellent
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Even if you've never been there." - Ian Anderson
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piercedboababe
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Quote piercedboababe Replybullet Posted: July/07/2011 at 12:50pm
Another question i would have for the owner of the pet store would be if they quarantine any new reptiles coming into their store for at least 6 months before putting them on their sales floor. Reptiles can harbor any number of illnesses, ones that don't affect humans, but can and will spread to a collection if introduced without proper quarantine procedures. An example is IBD, Inclusion Body Disease, which Pythons and Boas are the main carriers of this particular disease.

IBD can wipe out an established collection of Boas and or pythons in no time, and rarely do snakes show signs of the disease until it is well established, and the only recourse is to have that snake, and any other animals exposed to that animal, put down humanely.

The conditions you describe in the pet store would have me extremely concerned as not only a potential customer to the piercing and tattoo studio, but also as an experienced reptile keeper who may be looking to add to their collection.
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ZombiePhlegm
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Quote ZombiePhlegm Replybullet Posted: July/07/2011 at 1:29pm
Thank you for your input.

I skimmed on details for the pet store as I thought that it would make the letter too long.

The store itself is around 3-4 feet wide and about 8-10 feet long, the walls are stacked to the ceiling pretty much with vivariums. The Vivs being pretty much one on top of the other. The Bearded Dragons that I mentioned have damage done to their tails, which a friend of mine informed me can either be because of poor breeding or bad conditions leading to the other babies eating their tails.

They had a pair of older Beardies in a glass tank (which looked a lot more like a fishtank) with a hard blue plastic flooring which I'm fairly sure will cause damage to their limbs.

There was a large albino python kept inside the store that a man outside the shop had told me was heavily pregnant. Which seemed odd to me, I thought that it was a good idea to isolate pregnant snakes rather than keep them out in the open so they can be agitated by customers.

I think some of the Beardies were kept in enclosures with sand in them... if I remember correctly sand is bad for beardies as well. I could be wrong though.

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fuckmunki
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Quote fuckmunki Replybullet Posted: July/07/2011 at 4:38pm
You may want to omit some of the interpersonal stuff at the head of the letter - despite the facts of the matter it could lead to your complaint being viewed as more of an interpersonal beef than a health beef or viewed as frivolous.

Sounds really nasty.
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tattooedtrish
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Quote tattooedtrish Replybullet Posted: July/07/2011 at 4:42pm
Wow.. those poor reptiles.  That isn't cool. :(

I'm interested to see their reply.. hopefully something will happen with your letter.
My avatar (my 4th suspension) thanks to The Holy mackerel in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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ZombiePhlegm
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Quote ZombiePhlegm Replybullet Posted: July/08/2011 at 10:55am
As promised, here's the reply that I got from my mp. I'm a little disappointed by how generic this reply was, but I hope that something can be done about this at least.
__________________________
Dear [Privacy]

Thank you for your email about the tattoo studio.

I think that both pet shops and tattoo parlours have to be licensed.   Let me look into this with the Chief Executive of the District Council and come back to you as soon as I am able.

Sincerely
[Privacy]

PS Please in the meantime, could you be very kind and let me have a note of your home address.
____________________________

My Reply

____________________________

Dear, [Privacy]
                            My home address is [Privacy] Banbury. I'm sure that they do require to be licensed but as far as I'm aware there's nothing to stop them from receiving a license when both facilities occupy the same area. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerly
[Privacy]

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ZombiePhlegm
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Quote ZombiePhlegm Replybullet Posted: July/19/2011 at 6:22am
Another update. Here is the reply I was given with an attached copy of a letter that my local MP received in regards to my questioning.

Dear [privacy],

I promised I would take up with the Chief Executive of Cherwell District Council your concerns about the Living Colour Tattoo Studio. This I did and I thought you would like to see a copy of the reply I have received from Sue Smith which I hope is helpful in explaining the situation.

Best wishes

[privacy]



I followed this with this reply:


Dear [privacy],

Thank you for you looking into the matter. Though I cannot agree with the reply that was given. Airbourne contaminates are just as big a risk as any other form of contaminant. A pet store and a Tattoo & Piercing studio should not be allowed to occupy the same premises because of this.

The fact that there is no regulations preventing a pet store from being on the same premises as a Tattoo & Piercing Studio is something that should be changed. Having a tattoo or a piercing, or any other form of bodily modification is essentially a minor surgery and as such, should not be performed in an area that is anything less than sanitary. You cannot have a sanitary environment with animals inhabiting the premises. Especially not when one of the people that perform said surgery handles animals just moments before handling a client.

Sincerely
[privacy]

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