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Coetzee tells Spain: Drop pro-bullfighting law

Friday - 5/17/2013, 3:06am  ET

Spanish bullfighter David Galan performs with a Jose Escolar's ranch fighting bull during a bullfight of the San Isidro fair at Las Ventas bullring in Madrid, Monday, May 13, 2013. For a month bullfights take place every afternoon in what has been recognized as one of the most important bullfighting fairs in the world. Bullfighting is an ancient tradition in Spain and the season runs from March to October. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza)

LONDON (AP) -- Nobel Literature laureate J.M. Coetzee has called on Spain to abandon plans to protect bullfighting, making a rare public appeal against what he called "an archaic form of entertainment."

In an open letter to Spain's legislature released Thursday, Coetzee called bullfights "a throwback to a time when people took no heed of the feelings of animals." which he said had no place in 21st century Spain.

Cape Town, South Africa-born Coetzee is a noted opponent of animal cruelty, and touches upon the theme of nonhuman suffering in his books, including "The Lives of Animals."

Spain is divided over bullfighting. The ruling Popular Party wants to enshrine it as part of Spain's national heritage, but some regional governments have enacted bans.

Spain's parliament has been debating the issue since February.


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