A beauty pageant for camels? That doesn’t seem as shocking as the fact that over 40 camels were disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia as they were found to have undergone Botox and facelift treatments.

This preposterous idea’s onus lies with the owners who used procedures to enhance the shape of the animals’ heads, necks and humps, all to win £49 million in prize money.

According to the judges of the festival, they used specialised technology to ferret out breeders who resorted to these harsh nip and tuck procedures.

The contestants first had their external appearance and gait examined by specialists. Following this, their bodies were scanned with X-ray and 3D ultrasound machines, and samples were taken for genetic analysis and other tests.

The Camel Club (organizers of the event) stated that they were “keen to halt all acts of tampering and deception in the beautification of camels” and would “impose strict penalties on manipulators”.

A severe step by the breeders, Botox and collagen fillers were injected into parts of the camels’ faces to make them look bigger and to relax the muscles. It is also said that rubber bands were used to restrict blood flow to make body parts seem bigger than usual.

Jason Baker, senior vice-president of animal rights group PETA Asia, described the beauty contest as a “cruel farce” and stressed the fact that animal welfare issues needed to be addressed in the region, with a request to suspend any event that exploits or abuses animals.

The King Abdulaziz Camel Festival is the largest in the world and takes place over 40 days. This year has about 33,000 camel owners from across the globe, including the U.S., Russia and France, taking part in the event.

It’s bad enough human beings aren’t spared from the unrealistic standards set by the beauty industry. Should we let things get this far that even animals are shown no mercy?


Image: eyeofriyadh