Colombians outraged by man caught tasering horse

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A video showing a rider piling a horse during a cavalcade, a popular event in Colombia, has sparked outrage on social media. Some have called for cavalcades to be banned due to frequent reports of animal abuse associated with these events.

The video, shot in late December in a small town in Colombia, shows a man sitting on a horse with a small object in his hand as music plays in the background. Then the man touches the horse’s rump with an object. The horse flinches and moves forward sharply, as if he had received a shock. The man then repeats the action several times.

The video was shot in Icononzo, a small town in the Tolima department, located in west-central Colombia, on December 26 during a cavalcade (cabagalta in Spanish), a festive event where riders and their horses parade. in all the city. According to local press, the man in the video was from another town and had hired a horse to participate in the event.

The person who filmed the video, a resident of Icononzo, posted it on Facebook the same day, where it was shared more than 42,000 times. Shortly after, the person deleted the original message, alleging they had received threats. Camilo Cupitre, another resident of Icononzo, also shared this video on Twitter, where it garnered 430,000 views.

“Terrible case of animal abuse during today’s cavalcade in Icononzo, Tolima,” wrote Camilo Cupitre.

Thousands of social media users have been outraged by the rider’s actions, demanding “justice” for the animal. Some have called for an outright ban on horseback riding, saying it often leads to cases of animal abuse.

The man in the video is arrested Following an outcry over the video, the mayor of Icononzo released a statement the night it was broadcast. In the statement, the mayor said the man in the video clearly used an “object that generated an electric current” on the animal, that the police had identified the man and that the complaint would be dealt with by the attorney general. .

The next day, authorities reported that the runner had been arrested. He apparently told police that he used the Taser after drinking.

Under a 2016 law, anyone found guilty of animal abuse will be fined “five to 50 minimum monthly wages”, equivalent to 1,220 to 12,200 euros. In addition, if the abuse results in death or serious injury to the animal, the perpetrator could face a prison sentence of between 12 and 36 months, in addition to the fine.

Meanwhile, the vice president of the Tolima Riders Association said, “The electric charge is not fatal, but it is clearly an act of abuse that would put stress on the horse’s nervous system. ” The association also pleaded with the public not to stigmatize all riders because of the actions of “a few”.

“During the cavalcades, participants sometimes force the horses to do things that are unnatural,” Camilo Cupitre, who shared the video on Twitter, is part of an animal rights group in Icononzo. He explained why he would like to see a ban on cavalcades.

There are several cavalcades per year in Icononzo – they are organized by local riders with permission from the city. During these events, participants gather in one place and then parade on horseback through the main streets of the city to the beat of the music. Participants generally have a connection to rural areas. Either they live in the countryside, or they own a farm or cattle. Cavalcades are very popular in Icononzo and the rest of the country.

This video was shot during a cavalcade on December 26 in Icononzo. It was posted on the city’s Conservative Party Facebook page.

The problem is, there is a lot of abuse during cavalcades. Sometimes participants force horses to do things that are unnatural, by making them do tricks or walk in a certain way.

In addition, participants like their horses to appear energetic. They want people to see them as skilled riders, so sometimes they’ll kick horses. The people of Icononzo have told me that they sometimes use whips or even needles. Sometimes people use objects that create an electric charge, but people I spoke to said it was rare.

Finally, horses often walk for hours on horseback, under the sun, without eating or drinking anything. And once they are done, riders will often go to drink without necessarily taking care of the animals in their care.

Ideally, I would like to see cavalcades prohibited because of these abuses as it is very difficult to control what happens during them, especially due to the culture of alcohol consumption. Having said that, we know that they are not going to go away overnight, so at the very least we would like the organizers to push the participants to take good care of their horses. We also want local authorities to exercise real control over these events.

Cavalcade bans in some Colombian cities In recent years, cavalcades have been banned in several major Colombian cities, including Medellin, Cali, Armenia, Bucaramanga, Pereira, Buga and Jamundi, often as a result of incidents related to excessive consumption of alcohol or animal abuse.

Last October, the House of Representatives approved a bill that would “protect and regulate” cavalcades in Colombia, which the bill called “economic, recreational and cultural activity,” while simultaneously working to ensure the good. -be participating horses. Even though it was approved by a large majority, the bill generated lengthy debate in the House due to a number of opponents who support animal rights. One of the main points of contention was the fact that some cavalcades are funded with public money. be considered in the Senate.

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