The written permission of parents will be required by teenagers in Scotland who wish to get tattooed, or their bodies pierced. Piercing and tattoo studios will also be subject to mandatory licensing to ensure better safety standards and regulate hygiene. This is applicable to all those who are less than 16 years of age.
The object behind the exercise is to reduce the possibilities of blood borne diseases being transmitted through contaminated dye and dirty equipment. The rules will also cover anyone who offers electrolysis, piercing and acupuncture. The new rules will have to be adhered to from 1 April 2006, according to a draft order of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act.
The new rules came under criticism from the Tories who termed it impractical, while they were welcomed by health activists and experts. Scotland alone has over 200 skin piercing businesses and tattoo parlors.
Andy Kerr, the Health Minister of the country justified the new rules on the grounds of ensuring better hygiene. The country's tattooing industry is reported to be very poorly regulated at present, and a minimum standard of care is sought to be ensured through the new rules.