Regulatory policy

Colombian senator brings horse to Congress after new pet policy

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Senator Alirio Barrera shows up to work astride his white horse, in what he says is a tribute to the farmers and shepherds who live with horses in the South American nation.

Colombian Senator Alirio Barrera arrives with his horse at Congress in Bogota, but his ride has rubbed some colleagues the wrong way. (AFP)

Colombian congressmen can now bring their pets to work, a world first, and for one senator, wild horses couldn’t have stopped him from marking the first day of the new rule.

Alirio Barrera showed up for work on Tuesday astride his white horse.

He first drove through the capital Bogota before riding his mount through the halls of Congress, to make a statement on the importance of horses in the Colombian countryside.

“It’s a tribute to the farmers, to the men and women, to the shepherds who live with horses. To all those people who work in the fields,” he told the AFP news agency, holding his horse – named Pasaporte – by the bridle.

“An immature attitude”

Senate Speaker Roy Barreras announced the new policy last week, with his dog lying in his lap.

This makes Colombia’s Congress “the first in the world to accept pets”, he said.

Barrera said, “my pet is my horse.”

“If the law is for one, let it be for all.”

But his commute to work rubbed some colleagues the wrong way.

Senator Andrea Padilla criticized what she called “an immature attitude with which he wanted to ridicule a good decision”.

“It’s not the same to take a dog to the office as a horse,” she said.

“A horse suffers on the asphalt, on the sidewalk, he suffers on these waxed floors.”

Source: AFP