Camels banned from beauty contest after receiving Botox injections

Twelve animals disqualified from Saudi beauty pageant after receiving injections to improve their pout

A dozen camels were disqualified from a beauty contest - part of Saudi Arabia's annual camel festival - because their handlers used Botox to make them more attractive. Video: Reuters

 

Twelve camels have been disqualified from Saudi Arabia’s annual camel beauty contest after receiving botulinum toxin injections to make their pouts look more alluring.

Saudi authorities have raised the profile of the King Abdulaziz camel festival by relocating it from the desert to the outskirts of the capital, Riyadh.

This year’s event has been been mired in scandal after the lure of €25.6m in prize money tempted some owners to cheat.

The key attributes in camel beauty are considered to be delicate ears and fulsome snouts. But there are strict rules against drugs in the lips or shaved or clipped body parts. This year, a dozen contestants were banned after a vet was caught performing plastic surgery on camels. At his clinic camels were also given Botox-type injections, according to Saudi media.

“They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” Ali al-Mazrouei, the son of an Emirati camel breeder, told the UAE daily the National.

He added: “It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, ‘Oh, look at how big is that head is. It has big lips, a big nose’.”

After the decision to ban the camel, the chief judge of the show, Fawzan al-Madi, told Reuters: “The camel is a symbol of Saudi Arabia. We used to preserve it out of necessity, now we preserve it as a pastime.”

The month-long festival, which is the biggest in the Gulf and involves up 30,000 camels, continues. – Guardian