Image for illustrative purposes
The Saudi Camel Club has announced new rules aimed at preventing the abuse of camels at a prestigious camel festival.
The new system includes an evaluation by arbitration committees of camels taking part in the third King Abdel Aziz Camel Festival, which opened on February 6 and will run until March 20. There will be punishments meted out to those deigned to be harming the animals.
Speaking to local press, Camel Club member and official spokesman for the festival, Fawzan bin Hamad Al Mady, said: “The goal is not to search for mistakes, but to stop abuses committed by some owners. There must be a system and sanctions in place to stop these abuses.”
Al Mady added that a number of abuses have been identified since the start of the festival, the details of which will be given at a later date, though information has been distributed about one case.
On Friday, the festival’s Disciplinary and Penalties Committee reportedly identified two people – a Kuwaiti and an Emirati – for violating regulations by using botox injections; a practice banned under Camel Club rules. The committee barred the duo from participating in this year’s festival, and for taking part in the next three editions.
The high-profile festival is taking place close to the Saudi capital Riyadh, and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.
Camel auctions will take place during the event, while six categories of camel – Majahim, Wadh, Shaal, Sifr, Shaqah, and Homr – will participate in the Mazayen beauty contest.
Businesses will exhibit and sell camel-related products at the festival, which is split into various sections, including a commercial area, desert park, and cultural village centre.