Parliament has today approved bids led by PAN (the peoples animals nature party) to pave the way for pet-friendly restaurants – not places that allow pets to accompany diners in open spaces, but eateries that allow them inside as well.
For a country that has never led in the field of animal rights, this is nothing short of a revolution.
How the bids move forwards is another matter for other days – but for now this is a red-letter moment for animal lovers.
Lusa explains that parliament’s thumbs up follows efforts by PAN’s only MP André Silva to alter the law of 2015 that prohibits the entry of animals in closed restaurants, bars and cafés even if the owners involved are happy to allow them in.
PAN’s initiative – largely supported by MPs across the board – is to allow pets into commercial establishments as long as they are not in areas where food is being handled or prepared.
There were a few abstentions, and even one vote against by CDS-PP MP Ilda Araújo, but PAN’s “project” as the bid is called, has sailed through, along with similar bids proposed by Bloco de Esquerda and PEV (the Greens).
PEV’s “project” involves the safeguard over size and behaviour: neither should “cause disruption” to other clients using the space.
Again, most MPs came onboard, with the same CDS-PP representative voting against, and a few abstentions.
As reports explain, “the three projects were approved in their generality, falling now to discussion of their specific terms”.
PAN supporters are already delighting over social media, declaring with jubilation: “We are the change!”
For a taste of what could lie in store, click here