(Corrects to add dropped words "attempt" and "can" in
paragraphs 6, 7 and removes bullet point two; edits
* PETA bought 675 shares at $5.81 in retailer Talbots
* Plans to speak at retailers' annual meeting
LOS ANGELES, Aug 24 Animal welfare group People
for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said on Monday it
bought stock in retailer Talbots Inc TLB.N and will take its
case against what it calls cruel Australian wool farming
directly to shareholders.
PETA bought 675 shares of women's apparel chain Talbots at
$5.81 in early August and plans to speak at the annual meeting
of the Hingham, Massachusetts-based company next year.
Known for publicly criticizing companies for practices it
calls abusive to animals, PETA wants Talbots to stop buying
wool from Australian farmers because they commonly use a method
called "mulesing" that PETA says mutilates lambs.
"We'll rally support from other shareholders to change
Talbots' policy because when a company is associated with
cruelty to animals, it can also hurt the bottom line," said
Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, in a statement.
A spokeswoman with Talbots was not immediately available.
Mulesing, according to PETA, is "a crude mutilation in
which farmers carve chunks of flesh from lambs' backsides" with
shears or tightly-clamped clips that cause the animal's flesh
to rot and slough off in an attempt to reduce maggot
PETA believes there are humane prevention methods that are
effective that can be used instead.
PETA spokeswoman Stephanie Corrigan said the group tried to
work with Talbots to change its policy but moved to buy stock
after the retailer ended communications.
The group often grabs headlines with its campaigns of
celebrities posing nude to protest cruelty against animals.
In 2005, PETA spoke at the annual meeting of Limited Brands
Inc LTD.N, which includes Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body
Works. Later that same year Limited Brands adopted a policy
against buying Australian wool, Corrigan said.
Shares of Talbots are up 151 percent since January, but
down 44 percent since a year ago. Talbots sells traditional
clothing styles to women and is majority owned by Japan's Aeon
Co Ltd (8267.T).
(Reporting by Laura Isensee, editing by Bernard Orr)