Thursday, 15 May 2008

Teens face extreme body art ban

Extreme body art, including branding and scarification, will be banned for people under 18, under changes to be introduced into the NSW parliament today.

Minister for Community Services Kevin Greene will introduce legislation closing a loophole that allows scarification, beading and branding of under-18s.

Scarification and branding involve permanently scarring the skin, while beading is the placement of foreign objects under the skin.

The changes bring the law in line with current legislation on tattooing.

"The Iemma government is responding to the well-founded concerns of parents whose kids are falling prey to peer pressure for the sake of a trend," Mr Greene said in a statement.

"It is absolutely vital that we protect impressionable children from short-term fads like scarification, branding and beading which all cause life-long damage to the body."

Last week, the government announced new laws banning intimate body piercing for children under 16 and requiring parental permission for all other piercings.

The maximum penalty for performing scarification, branding or beading on a person under 18 in NSW will be $22,000.

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