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Scandal Hits Saudi Beauty Pageant: Camel Contestants Banned After Botox Makes Them Artificially More 'Beautiful'

  Do camel lips look better with Botox? Apparently so, based on the latest beauty pageant scandal. The state-run Saudi Press Agency has repo...

 Do camel lips look better with Botox?

Apparently so, based on the latest beauty pageant scandal.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency has reported shameful goings-on that have marred the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival by lifting the veil on dirty tricks used by the unscrupulous in pursuit of the perfect camel, according to an Associated Press report on Dec. 8.

The festival — which started early this month, lasts 40 days and is held near Riyadh — is a big deal, with $66 million in prize money for those who have made camel beauty a wonder to behold.

With that much at stake, it’s no surprise that in the quest to please judges grading the delicate shape of a camel’s head, neck, hump and other criteria, some owners will cross the line.

This year, cheating has been as prevalent as sand flies, it seems.

According to CNN, organizers have dealt with 147 cases of camel tampering this year — the largest number since the festival began in 2016. Forty-three contestants have been disqualified, because of Botox injections and other artificial alterations.

The list of sins sounds painful.

According to festival officials, rule-breakers stretched out the noses and lips of camels, used hormones to give their animals bigger muscles, injected Botox on heads and lips, inflated unnamed body parts with rubber bands, and used fillers to relax camel faces, the AP reported.

The deception was uncovered by using technology to scan the camels to detect where breeders had decided a nip here and a tuck there.

The heads, necks and torsos of every animal were scanned with X-ray and 3D ultrasound machines, while samples were taken for genetic tests, according to the BBC.

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

The competition is keen because not only do breeders rake in cash prizes, they can get higher prices when they sell their beasts.

To the untrained eye, one hump might look just like another, but high-bred camels are a major industry in Saudi Arabia. About 1.5 million camels are microchipped, the SPA said.

Jason Baker, senior vice president of PETA Asia, called the contest  a “cruel farce.”

“Subjecting any animal to a cosmetic procedure, from ear cropping to de-clawing, de-horning and filler injections, is hideously cruel and shows the humans who use such tactics to be extremely ugly,” he said, according to the BBC.

The camel festival is the largest in the world, with about 33,000 camel owners participating.

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