This is a world first which has had an atypical consequence.

Colombian parliamentarians can now sit with their pets.

The right-wing senator Alirio Barrera did not show up in the hemicycle in Bogota on Monday 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,” said the chosen one, holding his white horse by the bridle.

The first “pet-friendly” parliament

Last week, Senate President Roy Barreras announced from the perch, with his dog on his lap, that parliamentarians could now come with their pets.

Enough to make 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.

Bullfighting and cockfighting remain authorized

A stunt which however did not please the environmentalist bench.

Senator Andrea Padilla pointed to "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", she denounced.

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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