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Hold your horses! Colombian senator rides through Congress

By Agence France-Presse Published Sep 29, 2022 9:34 am Updated Sep 29, 2022 10:02 am

Members of Colombia's Congress can now bring their pets to work, in a world first, and for one senator, wild horses couldn't have dragged him away from marking the first day of the new rule.

Alirio Barrera showed up to work astride his white horse.

He first rode through the capital Bogota before steering his steed into the halls of Congress, to make a statement about the importance of horses for the Colombian countryside.

"It is a tribute to the farmers, to the men and women, to the herdsmen who live with horses. To all those people who work in the fields," he told AFP, holding his horse—named Pasaporte—by the bridle.

Senate president Roy Barreras announced the new policy last week, with his dog lounging in his lap. This makes the Colombian Congress "the first in the world to be pet-friendly," he said.

For Barrera, "my pet is my horse."

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

But his ride 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 is not the same thing to take a dog to the office as a horse," she said. "A horse suffers on the asphalt, on the sidewalk, it suffers on these waxed floors."