Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Saudi Arabia is holding its annual month-long camel festival — and cheaters are not welcome

With around $60 million up for grabs in races and show competitions, unscrupulous owners have been drugging animals and even giving them Botox injections in an attempt to win camel beauty pageants. At least a dozen camels have already been disqualified for Botox, which can give camels the full lips that judges look for. "They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips, and even the jaw," says the son of a top Emirati camel breeder. "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.'" According Saudi media, one veterinarian was caught actually performing plastic surgery on camels to give them the small, delicate ears also considered beautiful. Anti-cheating measures include blood tests, microchipping — and requiring owners to swear on the Koran about their animal's age.

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