Actress Pamela Anderson has written a letter to Spanish politicians urging them to reject a proposal to protect bullfighting from the threat of a ban.

The former Baywatch star is a keen animal rights activist and she has stepped in to call on lawmakers in Spain not to support a new bill granting the bloodsport cultural heritage status.

In her note to members of the Spanish senate, she points out that many countries including Argentina and Colombia have outlawed bullfighting and insists the pastime does not fit with Spain's modern image.

In the letter, sent via People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Anderson writes, "I was shocked to learn from Peta that the government is considering a law to protect and promote bullfighting. Argentina, Ecuador, and Colombia - as well as many towns in Spain - have all banned bullfighting, and more countries are moving in that direction.

"Spain is a modern country with a wealth of treasures - art, architecture, and music, to name just a few - which is why many people from around the world enjoy visiting it and experiencing its rich heritage. But in 2013, in an otherwise civilized society, seeking to continue the gratuitous slaughter of sentient animals is perverse...

"Tormenting bulls for entertainment belongs to the Dark Ages, not the 21st century. Please take a compassionate stance against this cruel pastime by rejecting the bill to protect bullfighting."