Camel owners have been injecting animals with Botox to improve their pouts.

Saudi Arabia is cracking down on camel owners who perform cosmetic surgery on their animals to make them more attractive.

The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has issued SAR67,000 fines to five people in the kingdom for violating animal welfare laws, Arab News reported.

The camel owners had attempted to give their animals the perfect pout by “injecting them with harmful substances to change their form”, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Full lips, delicate ears, a large nose and broad cheeks are considered appealing features in a camel, and animals that possess these are worth millions of riyals. In a bid to enhance their camel’s natural beauty – not to mention value – some owners have resorted to unnatural methods.

12 camels disqualified from beauty contest for Botox use
Sheikh Hamdan popped in at this Saudi camel festival

In January, the disturbing practice made international headlines after 12 camels were disqualified from a camel beauty pageant in Saudi Arabia when it was discovered their owners had injected them with Botox.

The camels were competing at the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival, the largest pageant in the Gulf, where prize money totals US$57 million (Dhs209 million).

“They use Botox for the lips, the nose, the upper lips, the lower lips and even the jaw,” Ali al-Mazrouei, the son of an Emirati camel breeder, told The National at the time.

“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’.”

Nick Stewart of World Animal Protection told the New York Times there was no justification for the practice.

“Such an unnecessary act is cruel and demeaning,” he said. “We understand that camels are a national treasure in Saudi Arabia, but animals should not be abused for entertainment, and there should be more respect for the animals’ well-being.”

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