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China pet shops offer `lucky` tattooed fish

Last Updated: Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 18:13

Beijing: Pet shops in a city in southwest
China are offering fish tattooed with patterns and lucky
characters intended to bring their owners good fortune and

The Qingshiqiao pet market in Chengdu sells a variety of
ornamental "fortune fish" decorated with flowers, rainbows and
characters, the Huaxi Metropolis Daily reported today.
Tropical parrot fish are usually used for tattooing,
often with the Chinese characters meaning "May your business
boom," the regional newspaper said on its website.

A dealer said lasers were used to tattoo the fish.

An ordinary parrot fish sells for just 10 yuan while a
tattooed one goes for at least 25 yuan.

A set of four fish tattooed with the characters for "Good
Fortune," "Luck," "Long Life," and "Happiness" can cost 120
yuan, the paper said.

Tattooed fish first appeared on the market in 2005 but
only became popular in the past year or two.

While some shoppers interviewed by the paper said the
idea of tattooed fish was novel, others thought it was cruel.

Fisheries expert Zhang Zhicheng said no one had studied
how the tattoos would affect the fish.

"To use a laser to tattoo will surely affect the fish.
It`s like tattooing a human being`s body, it breaks the
physiological balance of the fish and damages the skin`s
protective surface," Zhang was quoted as saying.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 18:13
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