More than 40 camels barred from Saudi ‘beauty’ contest over Botox

Riyadh: The authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have conducted their biggest-ever crackdown on camel beauty contestants that received Botox injections and other artificial touch-ups, with over 40 camels disqualified from the annual pageant, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday.

This year, the authorities used “specialized and advanced technology” to discover how dozens of breeders stretched the lips and noses of camels, used hormones to strengthen the animals’ muscles, injected Botox on the heads and lips to enlarge them, inflated body parts with elastics, and used fillers to relax their faces.

The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia, which kicked off on December 1, invites breeders of the most beautiful camels to compete for prizes estimated at SR250,000 (Rs 49,44,806).

It is strictly forbidden to inject Botox and perform plastic surgeries and other cosmetic modifications to make camels more attractive. The judges determine the winner based on the shape of the camel’s head, neck, humps, decorations and the way it stands.

“The club is keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels,” the SPA report said, adding that organisers would “impose strict penalties on manipulators”.

The festival is held annually, and includes cultural, economic, sports and entertainment activities, with the aim of “rooting the camel heritage” and promoting it in Saudi culture.

Camels are popular animals that are closely related to the heritage of Saudi Arabia. This animal has long been called the “ship of the desert”, being the lifeline of the inhabitants of the desert.