Dozens of camels have been disqualified from a beauty contest in Saudi Arabia after Botox injections and other artificial touch-ups were used to enhance their looks, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) yesterday.
Over 40 camels were banned from the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival where breeders from across the kingdom, the Gulf and other countries compete for the prize of $66 million. The 40-day event started at the beginning of the month and is the largest camel festival of its kind in the world.
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Botox injections, face-lifts and other cosmetic alterations are strictly prohibited and judges decide the winner based on the appearance of the camel's heads, necks, humps, dress and posture.
However, due to "specialised and advanced" technology, officials discovered that some breeders had stretched out the lips and noses of the contestants, used hormones to boost muscles or injected heads and lips with Botox. In some cases, body parts were also inflated using rubber bands and fillers were used to relax their faces.
"The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels," said the report by SPA, adding that organisers would "impose strict penalties on manipulators".
In 2018, authorities disqualified 12 camels in the contest once it had been discovered that they had been injected with Botox. The day before the event, one veterinarian was found performing plastic surgery on camels, including reducing the size of their ears, as "delicate ears" are considered a winning attribute sought out by some breeders.