43 camels were excluded from the beauty contest for using Botox
(CNN) – The organizers of the popular camel beauty contest in Kingdom Saudi Arabia 43 contestants were disqualified after crackdowns on botox injections and other forms of “manipulation” by breeders.
The 40-day King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, located about 100 kilometers northeast of the capital Riyadh, opened in early December. In their sixth year, breeders are competing for prizes of more than $66 million, according to Saudi state media and the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), so the stakes are high.
Unscrupulous breeders have been accused of using a number of methods to make beauty They are more likely to win, such as silicone injections and fillers, and inflating body parts with rubber bands to improve their appearance, SPA reports.
This year, organizers dealt with 147 cases of tampering, the highest number since the festival began. Forty-three contestants were disqualified.
Marzouk Al-Natto, spokesman for the festival’s legal committee, said that tampered breeders must pay fines that vary according to the violation, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
For example, a fine for injecting fillers, Botox or hormones can be as high as 100,000 riyals ($27,000) per camel, while braiding, docking or dyeing a camel carries a fine of 30,000 riyals ($8,000).
To detect tampering, camels are physically and clinically examined using devices such as X-ray machines.
The winning camel owners receive cash prizes and the recognition means that they can sell the animals at higher prices.
Rare camels are big business in Saudi Arabia. According to the Saudi Press Agency, an estimated 1.5 million animals are protected by their owners using microchips.
Camels are also an important part of Saudi culture. The animals are well adapted to life in deserts such as the Arabian Desert, of which there are many within Saudi Arabia.