a senator on horseback in the corridors of parliament

Colombian parliamentarians can now sit with their pets, a world first.

The right-wing senator Alirio Barrera did not show up in the hemicycle in Bogota with his cat or his dog, but perched on his imposing white horse. The member of the Democratic Center party first strolled on his horse through the streets of the center of the capital, before venturing into the corridors of parliament to claim the importance of equines for the Colombian countryside. “It is a tribute to the peasants, to the men and women, to the herdsmen who live with the horses. To all those people who work in the fields”declared the elected official to AFP, holding his white horse by the bridle.

Last week, Senate President Roy Barreras announced from the perch, with his dog on his lap, that parliamentarians could now come with their pets. What to do with the Colombian parliament “the first in the world that is pet-friendly”he welcomed. “My pet is my horse”said Alirio Barrera alongside his steed called “Pasaporte”. “Some have their pets, their cats, their dogs, I have my horse and if the law is for one, let it be for all”explained the senator, straw hat on his head.

“Immature attitude”

A stunt that did not please the environmentalist bench. Senator Andrea Padilla pointed the finger “an immature attitude with which he wanted to ridicule a good decision by parliament”. “It’s not the same thing to take a dog to the office as a horse, a horse suffers on the asphalt, on the sidewalk, he suffers on these waxed floors”denounced Ms. Padilla.

In Colombia, the law since 1989 has protected wild and domestic animals from suffering inflicted by human beings, with exceptions for so-called cultural practices, such as bullfighting or cockfighting, of which Senator Barrera is a defender.

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