Saudi Arabia holds an annual camel beauty contest, where the most beautiful camels in the Arab country slug it out for a huge prize. In this year’s contest, about 12 camels have been disqualified for using botox.
The prize money of about $31.8m is huge enough to make some camel breeders want to indulge some tweaks to make themselves more favourable to win the prize money, which is said to be the biggest in the entire region.
However, the organizers of the events have taken note of the use of such body enhancing agents on the desert animals and so have disqualified every animal found manipulated with botox.
There are strict rules against the use of drugs in the lips, or shaved or clipped body parts. The ban came up after it was discovered that vet was preforming plastic surgery on the animals in his clinic.
Camels were also given Botox-type injections at his clinic, according to Saudi media. Ali al-Mazrouei, the son of an Emirati camel breeder, told the UAE daily the National
“They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” .
“It makes the head more inflated so when the camel comes it’s like, ‘Oh, look at how big that head is. It has big lips, a big nose.’”
After the banning decision, 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 annual festival usually holds for a month and it is considered to be the biggest in the Gulf. The festival boasts of a participation record of more than 30,000 camels.
With nationwide coverage, it is one of the most sponsored events in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.